On Friday, on the final day of the conference held in Madrid, an estimated $33 billion in aid and loans was raised. The UN and World Bank says $56 billion are needed to rebuild Iraq over the next four years.

Dr Muhammad al-Ma’mouri, Professor of Economics at Baghdad University, questioned just who would be held responsible for the repayment of the loans.

“There is no national authority in the country”, he said in an interview with Aljazeera. “People of Iraq can never pay such amounts of money”.

The United States, Dr al-Ma’mouri added, launched the war on Iraq, claiming the Gulf state possessed weapons of mass destruction, but “has never found them”. He said, the US itself should rebuild the country.

Dr al-Ma’mouri went on to say that “all international organizations said Saddam Hussein does not represent the people of Iraq”. Then why, he argued, should the Iraqis be held responsible for the loans he had taken, particularly as they did not benefit from the Iraqi people by any means.

Dr al-Ma'mouri questioned why Iraqis should carry debts incurred by Saddam Hussein

The professor pointed out that there “is a big gap between the $58 billion(that the US said are need to rebuild Iraq) and the $33-billion it has gathered”. How then, he questioned, “would the US succeed in rebuilding Iraq?”

The money collected at the conference will go into two separate funds. One of these will be managed and overseen by the World Bank while the other will be administered by the UN.