Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Iraqi govt still cannot provide basic services

'The report questioned the government's ability to provide critical services to its people, noting that the United States has spent about 87 percent, or about $9.5 billion, of the nearly $11 billion it allocated for reconstruction in the oil, electricity and water sectors since 2003. By comparison, Iraq -- which has a $47 billion budget surplus -- has spent about 12 percent, or $2 billion, of the more than $17 billion it allocated for those sectors over the same period.

"According to U.S. officials," it said, "Iraqi managers lack the skill level and authority to create plans and buy the materials necessary to sustain projects in the energy and water sectors." Despite both U.S. and Iraqi expenditures, the report said, electricity supply in 2008 met only 52 percent of demand and "many Iraqis are without water" or do not have access to a safe supply.'

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