Reconstruction

  • UNAMI Reconstruction and Development updates

    Index of monthly updates since April 2005 produced by the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq.

  • GAO report: Coalition Support and International Donor Commitments (May 2007) (09 May 2007)

    US Government Accountability Office statement on foreign troop levels and international donor commitments to Iraq's reconstruction.

    On the latter, it found that:

    • As of April 2007, international donors had pledged about $14.9 billion for reconstruction efforts in Iraq. Some countries exceeded their pledges by an additional $744 million for a total of $15.6 billion.

    • About $11 billion, or 70 percent, of these pledges are loans (mainly from the IMF, World Bank, Japan and Iran), with the remaining $4.6 billion in the form of grants.

    • As of April 2007, Iraq had accessed only about $436 million in loans from the IMF, and had received $3 billion in grants, suggesting considerable wariness on the part of the Iraqi government to contract new debt: "according to the State Department, the Iraqis lack a system for approving projects supported by donor loans, which has impeded efforts by the World Bank and Japan to initiate loan-based projects."

    • According to IMF reporting as of February 2007, Iraq has received about $39 billion in debt reduction from commercial and bilateral creditors.

    • The UK has provided bilateral grants to Iraq totalling $775 million (i.e. outside the projects funded by UN and World Bank trust funds for Iraq)

  • Article on Iraq Electricity (06 Nov 2006)

    Review in the Middle East Economic Survey on whether Iraq's 10 year plan for electricity is credible

  • New GAO testimony on 'Rebuilding Iraq', 28 Sept 2006 (26 Sept 2006)

    New congressional testimony by the US federal oversight body, the Government Accountability Office, on the progress of US-funded reconstruction efforts. Reports that (as of August 2006):

    • crude oil production is lower than pre-war levels (2.4 million barrels per day (mbpd), compared to the prewar level of 2.6 mbpd)
    • electricity generation was at 4,855 megawatts, above the prewar level of 4,300 megawatts, but below the US goal of 6,000 megawatts.
    • treated water delivery stands at 1.44 million cubic meters per day, compared to the U.S. goal of 2.4 million cubic meters.

    Violence and conflict is blamed for much of this shortfall. But within this uncertain context the GAO found that the US Department of Defense risked inflating the costs and delays of reconstruction further by

    • awarding some reconstruction contracts without defining "the work to be performed and its projected costs"
    • lacking the necessary personnel to administrate contracts
    • circumventing competition rules on awarding contracts by simply adding new, unrelated work to existing contracts (for instance, contracting for translators under an environmental services contract)
  • CSIS Report: Iraqi Economic Reconstruction and Development (21 Apr 2006)

    A CSIS report by Onur Ozlu puts Iraq's economic reconstruction in broad historical perspective and then provides a sector-by-sector analysis of what is happening in Iraq and the successes and failures of the aid process.

    The US aid effort in Iraq has not accomplished most of its sectoral goals, and more importantly, has not effectively initiated the reconstruction of the country’s economy. After three years of struggle, the expenditure of more than $ 20 billion US aid funds, $ 37 billion Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) - UN accumulated from the oil for food program’s revenues and the seizure of bank accounts- and death of thousands of US and other coalition soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis, Iraq is producing less oil, has less electricity and less water than it did during the Saddam period. After studying the modern Iraqi economic history as a background, this work analyzes why.

    Insurgency has been a major obstacle to an effective econstruction. However, shortcomings of the US aid planning and execution indicate that even if there was not an endemic insurgency in Iraq, the reconstruction would still be ineffective.

  • Fact Sheet on Aid from Japan (17 Apr 2006)
  • Corporate Watch report: 'UK Companies in Iraq' (13 March 2006)

    "This report analyses the role of UK corporations in post-Saddam Iraq. To date, we have uncovered evidence for about £1.1bn worth of contracts, from the US and UK reconstruction budget, and from the Iraqi ministries."

    "UK corporations are playing a key role in two sectors: consulting (especially privatisation support) and private security, including private military companies. See the sections ‘Consultants: creating a new Iraq’ and ‘Bodies of armed men’ for more on these areas. The UK government, and British-based trade associations, have also played a key role in facilitating corporate access to Iraq’s markets, services and resources; see section ‘Iraq wasn’t sold in a day.’"

    Press coverage (AFP): “British firms enjoy billion-pound Iraq war dividend”

    LONDON (AFP) - British businesses have profited by at least 1.1 billion pounds (1.9 billion dollars) since coalition forces toppled Saddam Hussein three years ago, The Independent newspaper reported.

  • Corporate Watch report: 'UK Companies in Iraq' (13 March 2006)

    "This report analyses the role of UK corporations in post-Saddam Iraq. To date, we have uncovered evidence for about £1.1bn worth of contracts, from the US and UK reconstruction budget, and from the Iraqi ministries."

    "UK corporations are playing a key role in two sectors: consulting (especially privatisation support) and private security, including private military companies. See the sections ‘Consultants: creating a new Iraq’ and ‘Bodies of armed men’ for more on these areas. The UK government, and British-based trade associations, have also played a key role in facilitating corporate access to Iraq’s markets, services and resources; see section ‘Iraq wasn’t sold in a day.’"

    Press coverage (AFP): “British firms enjoy billion-pound Iraq war dividend”

    LONDON (AFP) - British businesses have profited by at least 1.1 billion pounds (1.9 billion dollars) since coalition forces toppled Saddam Hussein three years ago, The Independent newspaper reported.

  • Transcript of US State Department briefing on budget support (28 Feb 2006)

    Briefing given by James F. Jeffrey, Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Coordinator for Iraq, on Assistance to Iraq in the FY 2006 Supplemental Budget and FY 2007 Budget Request.

  • Iraq Reconstruction: Without Additional Funding, Progress Likely to Fall Short, Weakening War Effort (27 Feb 2006)

    Report from the Centre for Strategic and Budgetry Assesments, detailing the need for between $18bn-$28bn more needed to complete the reconstruction of Iraq, an amount far greater than the $2.2bn the US has pledged.

  • GAO Testimony: Stabilisation, Reconstruction and Financing Challenges (08 Feb 2006)

    "Iraq will likely need more than the $56 billion that the World Bank, United Nations, and CPA estimated it would require for reconstruction and stabilization efforts from 2004 to 2007."

    "However, it is unclear how Iraq will finance these additional requirements....Iraq's ability to financially contribute to its own rebuilding and stabilization efforts will depend on the new government's efforts to increase revenues obtained from crude oil exports, reduce energy and food subsidies, control government operating expenses, provide for a growing security force, and repay $84 billion in external debt and war reparations." Summary is here

  • Latest SIGIR Testimonies (08 Feb 2006)

    Testimony to the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Iraq Stabilization and Reconstruction, and testimony to the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support on contracting issues. Also included is a reconstruction fact sheet.

    In particular, notes the striking fall in the perfomance of Iraqi utilities since the pre-war period, despite massive US investment, with virtually all indicators being lower than before the fall of Saddam. A summary can be found in the New York Times, while more information can be found in the SIGIR section.

  • "Re-engineering Iraq" (Feb 2006)

    Article by Glenn Zorpette in Spectrum, a publication by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

    This seeks to answer, from an engineering perspective, why Iraq still has a large generation shortfall and to provide a picture of the reconstruction effort.

    The article identifies as the "fundamental reasons" for the failure of electricity system reconstruction in Iraq:

    • A poor match between generating technologies and the kinds of fuels available in Iraq.
    • A well-armed insurgency that has made destroying electrical infrastructure a centerpiece of its bid to destroy the country's fledgling democracy.
    • Revenue levels coming into the Ministry of Electricity that are so low as to be insignificant [...]
    • Management and personnel problems at all levels of the government, including the ministry [...]
    • The erosion of operational and, particularly, maintenance skills among workers at the country's Ministry of Electricity.

    The detailed account of the problems at the Quds power plant give a particularly stark account of the combination of incompetence, lack of funds, poor communication, poor security, and discontinuity in personnel that has led to highly efficient power turbines not being run.

    The article includes a map of the Iraqi generation and transmission system.

  • Latest SIGIR Audit Reports (26 Jan 2006)

    On the 26th January, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction released a report entitled The Challenges Faced in Carrying Out Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund Projects. Just prior to this, on the 23rd January, four others were released, including reports on the Rapid Regional Response Programs in South-Central Iraq, the transfer of IRRF funded assests to the Iraqi government, the managemnet of the Commaders Response Program, and the Mansuria Electrical Reconstuction Project

    The report on the IRRF projects looks at the scope and effect of the 'reconstruction gap' - the difference between the number of projects that the US originally proposed to build, and the total built. Findings included that only 49 out of a proposed 136 projects in the water and sanitation. The main explanation was a massive increase in security costs (a reallocation of $5.6bn from the original $18.4bn). A summary can be found in the New York Times

    The investigation into the management by the CPA of the Rapid Regional Response Programs, total value about $88million, discovers a massive amount of overcharging, manipulation to avoid review, unauthorised payments, and a severe lack of appropriate acounting and documentation. The report recommends that money wasted through over-payments should be recovered. It also containst stories of millions of reconstruction dollars stuffed casually into footlockers and filing cabinets, an American soldier in the Philippines who gambled away cash belonging to Iraq, and three Iraqis who plunged to their deaths in a rebuilt hospital elevator that had been improperly certified as safe. Moreover, it reports that there were no detailed, overt preparations for the reconstruction of Iraq in the run-up to the 2003 invasion "to avoid the impression that the US government had already decided on [military] intervention". A brief review can be found in the New York Times

    The report on the asset transfers looks at the transfer of the projects funded by the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund, and managed by the US (namely the Gulf Region Division (GRD) or the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Project Contracting Office (PCO)), to the Iraqi government in 2006-2007. Notes that while procedures for transfer on a local level are fairly well set out, there is a lack of central policy and procedure for transferral of information to the central Iraqi ministires. The report also puts a figure on the 'reconstruction gap'

    The Commanders Response Program used $718million for militrary commanders to respond to local urgent humanitarian and reconstruction requirements. The audit found a lack of co-ordination, and errors in the monitoring of how funds were spent. The Mansuria Electrical Reconstruction Project reportlooked into an abadoned project to build a power station by USAID and IRRF, with a total estimated cost of about $70million.

  • US Plans to Stop Funding Iraq Reconstruction (02 Jan 2006)

    Article in the Washington Post detailing reports from government officials saying that the Bush administration does not intend to seek any extra funds from Congress after the $18.4bn already allocated runs out. "The U.S. never intended to completely rebuild Iraq," Brig. Gen. William McCoy, the Army Corps of Engineers commander overseeing the work, told reporters at a recent news conference.

  • Second Sixth-Month Report of the activities of UNDG ITF (30 Nov 2005)

    This report is in two parts, with part two containting cluster level progress reports, and part one covering progress as a whole. The report covers Jan-July 2005, detailing the work of the fund. It concludes by noting that though project implimentation is speeding up, extra funds will be needed.

  • The Bush Administration Record: The Reconstruction of Iraq (18 Oct 2005)

    Report prepared for Rep. Henry A. Waxman by the Committee On Government Reform, Minority Office. States "Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent, but there is little to show for the expenditures in Iraq", concluding there are two major causes of this - the lack of security, and the flawed contracting systems used. Also notes massive over-charging by Haliburton for work on the Oil Sector, an inability of the Iraqi ministries to maintain projects started by USAID due to inadequate training, and a complete lack of improvement on providing drinkable water to Iraqis.

  • US GAO Testimony: 'Rebuilding Iraq: Enhancing Security, Measuring Program Results And Mantaining Infrastructure Are Necessary to Make Significant and Sustainable Progress' (18 Oct 2005)

    Report by the US Government Accountability Office investigating US progress in rebuilding Iraq. Notes the difficulting in maintaining infrastructure projects, and the difficulty of measuring progress. Recommends that Iraq will probably need signifcantly more than the $56bn estimated previously by the World Bank, due to unforseen looting, sabotage and lower than expected oil revenues. Finds that data collected is incomplete, citing for example that the Department of State reports on number of water projects completed, but not on the condition of the water supply to Iraqi people. A summary can be found here.

  • Blood, sweat and tears: Asia's poor build US bases in Iraq (03 Oct 2005)

    Corpwatch investigation into the mistreatment of 'third country nationals' employed in Iraq by private contractors and the American military. These workers, mainly from Asian countries such as the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal, are underpaid, overworked (some report 84-hour weeks), and given inadequate protection. Alongside them American workers are paid many times more, and have massively better living conditions.

  • Planning post-conflict reconstruction in Iraq: what can we learn? (Oct 2005)

    Review of the planning process within the CPA and related bodies, conducted by the RAND corporation. This concentrates primarily on management and institutional organisation, rather than on the problems and successes of policies.

  • Accelerating economic progress in Iraq (20 July 2005)

    Senate hearing, considering four questions:

    1. Should the Coalition shift more economic resources from Baghdad to the provinces?
    2. Should they increase resources and emphasis on creating jobs?
    3. Should they devote more effort to preventing corruption and sabotage in the oil industry?
    4. Should they create a reliable set of indicators for economic progress?

    Witnesses were Keith Crane (RAND), Fareed Mohamedi (PFC Energy), and Frederick D. Barton (CSIS)

    Crane suggests that the focus should be on the central ministries (since at this time the Iraq government's mechanisms for working in the provinces are weak and unproven), and that poverty is a problem over unemployment, sincly many of the large unemployment figures are exagerated. Reckons the time for high profile large projects has passed. States the largest form of corruption is the theft of fuel by government officials. Strongly recommends a transparent periodic liberalization of the price of gasoline, and that the gathering and processing of statistics should be done through the Iraqi ministries, not by the coalition directly. Mohamedi notes problems with electriciity supplies being regionalised to support the assertion that assistance should be done at a national, not regional, level - similarly for control of oil production and revenue. Suggests sabotage is a bigger problem than corruption for the oil sector in the short term, though not in the long term. Barton advocates a move away from the ineffective ministries, microfinance over work programs, and cash transfers to replace the food distribution program.

  • The World Bank In Iraq: Iraqi Ownership for Sustainability (June 2005)

    Working paper looking at how the bank should go about reconstruction porjects and institution building in Iraq, looking at previous World Bank work and the background of Iraq.

  • Estimated Breakdown of Funding Flows for Iraq’s Reconstruction: How Are The Funds Being Spent? (Dec 2004)

    Pie chart breakdwon of how the reconstruction funds for iraq are being spent, prepared by the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project, part of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. Estimates 30% is spent on security, 15% is spent on mismanagement, corruptoin and fraud, and only 27% is actually spent on direct services and investment.

  • 'Iraq in Transition: Post-Conflict Challenges and Opportunities' (Nov 2004)

    Report by the Open Society Institute and the United Nations Foundation.

  • Reconstructing Iraq (02 Sept 2004)

    Report by the International Crisis Group, outlining the economic problems caused by the Baathist heritage, security problems, lack of CPA planning, and short-termism caused by the hastening of the timetable for the transfer of power. Worries that the limited legitimacy of the interim government will restrain it from making broad economic changes, and sets out an economic agenda for the Iraqi government and the international community. Full report available in pdf and MS Word formats, and in Arabic

  • Baghdad Year Zero (Sept 2004)

    Naomi Klein links the failures in reconstruction of Iraq to US corporate interests and laissez-faire economic policy.

  • Progress or Peril: Measuring Iraq's Reconstructoin (Sept 2004)

    Analysis undertaken by the Post Conflict Reconstruction Project. Looks at the difficulties of measuring progress when sources are unreliable and data is hard to obtain, noting the fact that US and the international community have not been using the most up-to-date theory on post-conflict reconstruction affectively. Recommends various measures that could be used in the future, with particular reference to including Iraq voices and control of projects. An update published in October 2004 can be found here.

  • Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Iraq (19 May 2004)

    Paper by Almas Heshmati, an academic at the MTT Agrifood Research Finland. Tries to provide a comprehensive picture of the past and current conditions in Iraq, and evaluates proposed development policies

  • Reconstructing Iraq's Economy (2004)

    Bathsheba Crocker, writing in The Washington Quarterly , recounts economic policy in Iraq since 2003, and gives some thoughts on the future.

  • 'Reconstructing Iraq: A Guide to the Issues' (30 May 2003)

    Report by the Open Society Institute and the United Nations Foundation. Also available is an executive summary.

  • Monthly Reconstruction and Development Updates on Iraq since April 2005
  • Auditing and financial transparency
  • International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq

    Organisation setup by the UN and World Bank, designed to organise and co-ordinate donations to the reconstruction of Iraq. In particular, controls thtwo trust funds: the UN Development Group Iraq Trust Fund, and the World Bank Iraq Trust Fund.

    • World Bank Iraq Data Sheet (23 Oct 2006)
    • UNDG ITF October Newsletter (Oct 2006)
    • World Bank Iraq Trust Fund Newsletter (July 2006)
    • Third Sixth-Month Report of the activities of UNDG ITF (11 May 2006)

      This report is in two parts, with part two.pdf) containting cluster level progress reports, and part one.pdf) covering progress as a whole. The report covers July-December 2005, detailing the work of the fund.

    • World Bank Iraq Trust Fund Progress Report (May 2006)
    • Rebuilding Iraq: Economic Reform and Transition (Feb 2006)

      This World Bank report focuses on the cross-cutting issues at the heart of Iraq’s transition, including the immediate challenges of reviving the economy and creating jobs, rebuilding public services responsive to citizens’ needs, and strengthening safety nets to protect the poor and vulnerable. It also addresses some overarching issues in public sector governance, particularly the management of oil revenues, the realignment of economic incentives and prices, the reform of human resource management, and the implementation of anticorruption efforts.