Watch part two

More than $100bn has been spent on reconstruction projects in Iraq, with about $50bn coming from the US, according to a recent report by Stuart Bowen, the special inspector-general for Iraq reconstruction.

Bowen recently told the House Armed Services Committee that much of the money was lost to wastage, abuse and fraud, leaving very little for actual construction work - much of which is said to be sub-standard.

He also said that mistakes made in the rebuilding of Iraq were being repeated in Afghanistan, including the inability to mobilise resources on the scale needed to implement construction.

In response, some blame corrupt Iraqi officials and the reluctance of the government to make full use of the resources that have been available to them to rebuild the country.

With the current economic crisis and the planned US withdrawal, the Iraqi government will have no choice but to dig deep into its oil revenues when it finds it can no longer depend on US or foreign aid.

And with only 17 months remaining before the planned US troop pullout, efforts to rebuild Iraq's basic infrastructure are running out of time.

The Iraqi government risks becoming isolated as many Iraqis deprived of basic necessities are likely to turn their frustrations into political capital in the forthcoming parliamentary elections if their needs are not met soon.

This episode of Inside Iraq aired from Friday, March 27, 2009.

Source: Al Jazeera