World Bank to launch Iraq programme

The World Bank has announced its board had given the green light to the launch of a programme for Iraq, which will be operated out of Jordan for security reasons.

    The World Bank will work from Jordan for security reasons

    "The Board authorised the World Bank to act as administrator of the International Trust Fund in Iraq with the United Nations," the Bank's vice president for the Middle East, Christiaan Poortman said on Thursday.

    "We opened an office in Jordan to manage the operations in Iraq.

    Security is an issue that keeps us from operating in Iraq itself," Poortman told reporters. 

    "We would like to move back as soon as we can. As soon as we consider it secure we will obviously go back." 

    Donors

    The multilateral fund would receive contributions from donors 
    that promised during an October 2003 conference in Madrid to give $33 billion towards the reconstruction of Iraq. 

    However, donors did not make clear whether those contributions would come in the form of gifts, loans, or lines of credit. 

    World Bank administrators also gave the go-ahead to an initial
    interim operations programme in cooperation with the Iraqi people. 

    The programme consists of $5-10 million  in technical assistance for reconstruction, $100 million in aid to get the education system back in order, a $100 million credit line for infrastructure rehabilitation, and $200-400 dollars in community development projects.

    SOURCE: AFP


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