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International Community Steps Up to Assist Iraq Reconstruction

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2003 – The Pentagon's top money manager today praised the nations of the international community that pledged billions for the reconstruction of Iraq at the Oct. 23-24 donors' conference in Madrid.

About $13 billion was pledged, DoD Comptroller Dov Zakheim told reporters at a Pentagon press conference.

That amount, he said, is in addition to the $20 billion earmarked for Iraq reconstruction contained within the $87 billion supplemental budget proposal for Afghanistan and Iraq that's now before Congress.

The amount of money pledged for Iraq in Madrid proves "the international community feels that it is terribly important that there be a secure, stable, viable, peaceful and representative Iraq," Zakheim said.

Countries' individual contributions ranged from the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars to more than a billion. In size, Zakheim noted that America's $20 billion pledge was followed by Japan at $1.5 billion; Great Britain, $900 million; Kuwait, $500 million; and Spain, about $350 million.

In Madrid, Canada contributed about $300 million in their dollars for Iraq, Zakheim pointed out, and "actually solicited other countries that were sort of debating whether they should contribute." Canadian efforts in this regard, he added, "were successful in a number of cases."

Follow-on meetings to track the distribution of contributions pledged for Iraq at Madrid are likely to be held in the future, Zakheim said.

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