Canadian Consulting Engineer

Money heading for infrastructure in Iraq

Vast sums of money are being touted by government organizations as funds necessary to rebuild the ailing and devast...

October 17, 2003   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Vast sums of money are being touted by government organizations as funds necessary to rebuild the ailing and devastated engineering and building infrastructure of post-war Iraq. The United Nations Development Program reports that the country will need $36 billion over the next four or five years, on top of the $20 billion estimated by the United States-led coalition authority.
The U.N. issued its estimate in a report that will be used as the basis for a meeting of donor nations and non-government organizations in Madrid in the last week of October. According to its assessment, of the $36 billion needed, $9 billion is needed by next year to cover physical reconstruction, technical assistance and training.
Canada has pledged $300 million for reconstruction and humanitarian aid in Iraq. More details of how that money will be invested are promised when Minister for International Co-operation Susan Whelan attends the meeting in Madrid.
The U.S. awarded $680 million to engineering giant Bechtel in April immediately following the invasion of Iraq. That money is now being spent on projects such as dredging the country’s main port Umm Qasr, and restoring water and electricity.
Reports say that the U.S. engineers have now had time to discover that Iraq’s infrastructure problems are enormous and much worse than had been anticipated before the U.S. invasion, due partly to neglect under Saddam Hussein’s 20-year rule. There are hundreds of water treatment plants that need attention, and approximately 6,000 buildings.
USAid reports that approximately $229 million is to be used for electricity needs. To date $61.4 million has been allocated for rehabilitating the Doura Power Station, water treatment plants and to purchase parts and equipment for transmission lines. Generating levels before the war were 4,400 MW, but the demand is 6,000 MW.


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