Iraq

The way forward for the Iraqi people: Dead Sea Iraq donors meeting wraps up first day

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DEAD SEA, July 18, 2005 - His Excellency Barham Salih, Iraqi Minister of Planning and Development Cooperation and Canadian Ambassador Michael Bell, Chair of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq, (IRFFI) are pleased with the outcome of the Expanded Donor meeting that brings together representatives from donor countries and organizations, the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

"I believe our National Development Strategy will come to signify faith in a brighter future, and in our ability to work together as a democratic, multi-ethnic society to achieve betterment for all," said His Excellency Barham Salih. "But we cannot do it alone. At stake are prospects not only for 27 million people to enjoy better, more productive lives, but also long-term peace and security in the region-objectives intimately linked to sustainable prosperity."

The Government of Iraq set out strategic priorities for Iraq's reconstruction and development, organized around four key drivers: strengthening the foundations of economic growth, revitalizing the private sector, improving quality of life, and strengthening good governance and improving security. Urgent action on two fronts is required, namely governance and basic human needs.

"On the one hand, we urgently need emergency/humanitarian interventions to provide basic services such as water, electricity, hospitals and schools," added His Excellency Barham Salih. "On the other hand, we need to start implementing reforms, building institutions and developing the capacities that will support a vibrant market-oriented economy. These interventions need to start immediately but will yield benefits in the medium-term and for generations to come."

The Government also called on continued donor support for reconstruction efforts. The delegates discussed how best to coordinate efforts to move the reconstruction process forward.

"As Chair, I speak on behalf of donor countries, the UN and the World Bank, when I say that we are strongly committed to advancing Iraqi ownership of reconstruction efforts," said Ambassador Bell. "By enhancing partnerships, we are undertaking an approach to reconstruction that is flexible, effective and responsive to the needs and priorities of the people of Iraq.

Hosted by the Government of Jordan and chaired by Canada and Iraq, the Fourth expanded IRFFI meeting brings together representatives from over 70 countries and international organizations, including the UNDG, the World Bank and the IMF. The delegates convened at the Dead Sea, Jordan to review progress and lessons learned from bilaterally donor-financed reconstruction activities in Iraq.

International donors established IRFFI at the 2003 Madrid Conference 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. To date, international donors have committed a total of $1 billion to the two trust funds. IRFFI's Donor Committee meets on a semi-annual basis to provide strategic guidance, review progress, coordinate efforts, and ensure coherence with Iraqi priorities.

For more information on the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq, please visit http://irffi.org.

Information:

Government of Iraq:

Mr. Taha Al-Hashemi, +(964) 7901926239, tahaalhashemi@yahoo.com
Ms. Hanah Murad, +(962-79) 567-6262, hannamurad@hotmail.com

Government of Jordan: (Ministry of Planning & Int'l Cooperation)

Mr. Mohammed Abu Summaqqa
Ms. Eman Tarawneh, Eman.tr@mop.gov.jo
+(962-777) 77 6532

Government of Canada: Ms. Eleonora Karabatic, eleonora_karabatic@acdi-cida.gc.ca, +(962-79) 633-3587

United Nations: Ms. Aicha Elbasri, elbasri@un.org, +(962-777) 619 739

World Bank: Ms. Sereen Juma, sjuma@worldbank, +(962-74) 54 64 869, +(962-78) 873 22 33,