Iraq reconstruction to top agenda of donors meeting in Jordan -- UN

Representatives of more than 60 countries and international organizations, including the United Nations and the World Bank, will gather at the Dead Sea in Jordan later this month to review progress and lessons learned from donor-financed reconstruction activities in Iraq, the UN mission in that country (UNAMI), announced today.

Hosted by the Government of Jordan and chaired by the Government of Canada, the Fourth International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) Meeting, to be held on 18 and 19 July will focus on progress achieved so to date.

Representatives of the Iraqi Government will present its priorities and discuss with donors how best to coordinate efforts to move the reconstruction process forward, UNAMI said.

"This is an opportunity to strengthen further the partnership for Iraq," said Barham Salih, Iraq's Minister of Planning and Development Cooperation. "It is time to make a difference for the people of Iraq."

The first IRFFI meeting to convene since Iraq's January elections, the Dead Sea gathering is being held at what is widely considered to be a unique juncture in Iraq's reconstruction process. Taking place on the heels of the International Conference on Iraq held in Brussels last month, the event is broadly expected to follow through on support expressed for the country's political transition, and to provide a new momentum to reconstruction efforts

International donors established IRFFI in 2003 to facilitate the provision of reconstruction assistance in a coordinated and effective manner. The IRFFI has two trust funds, separately administered by the World Bank and the UN in close coordination with the Iraqi authorities and donors. International donors have so far committed a total of $1 billion to the two funds.