IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE IRAQI PROTEST MOVEMENT
To the Donor Countries for Iraq
Don’t kill us more than once and don’t get embroiled in our slow death!
After more than 14 years of destruction that befell Iraq and the wars against the Daish Terrorist Organization, (ISIS).
The State of Kuwait, to which we are grateful, called for a conference concerning the Reconstruction of Iraq, to take place the middle of next month.
While there is no doubt that all Iraqis look forward to seeing construction replacing destruction, and while they feel about life as others do, however they do have misgivings about whether this conference will result in anything … particularly since this is not the first conference of its kind, bearing in mind that Iraq has received hundreds of billions of dollars during the past 14 years with nothing to show for it.
Just to remind you of the most important stops:
First: After the dissolving the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2004, the Iraqi Government authorized the American Administration to manage the Development Fund, which the Pentagon duly managed for Iraq’s reconstruction projects, with monies provided from the sale of Iraqi oil and gas as well as the sale of frozen assets during the former regime, and at that time, the American Inspector general responsible for Reconstruction in Iraq, stated that there are US D 9 billion available for the Reconstruction of Iraq.
This amount was separate from US D 53 billion which Congress had granted for the reconstruction of Iraq.
Second: At the Madrid Donors’ Conference, October 2003, which was attended by 73 countries and 20 NGOs who committed US D 33 billion for Iraq’s reconstruction, and which at the same time the US committed to US D 3.20 billion, with the total amounting to half of Iraq’s reconstruction needs at the time that amounted to US D 56 billion up to 2007; while at the same time the IMF announced that it would provide between US D 3 – 5 billion as a loan to Iraq.
Third: The latest amount announced by the IMF was its agreement to provide aid in November 2017, amounting to US D 400 million, to participate in funding several liberated cities from Daish. The IMF announced in its statement on this occasion that its aid parcel aims to support the recovery effort, reconstruction and rehabilitation of essential infrastructure in order to start the provision of essential general services in the recently liberated Iraqi areas from Daish’s grasp”, adding, that this aid represents additional financing for emergency development projects in Iraq estimated at US D 350 million, which was agreed to in July 2015, and which is being executed in 7 cities in the Provinces of Diyala and Sallahudeen.
This means that the World Bank allocated US D 750 million for reconstruction in 2 years! This is only a fraction of the amounts that have been allotted for the reconstruction of Iraq, but Iraq has not been reconstructed to this moment in time, so where has all this money gone to?
Here are some of the answers:
A – As far as the Development Fund and the amounts allocated by Congress for the Reconstruction of Iraq are concerned, the Inspector General responsible for Iraqi Reconstruction has confirmed that the American Government has been unable to ascertain where 96% of this amount was spent.
B – In March 2013, The Times of London published a report by the American Government that stated that most of the reconstruction projects in Iraq that had been executed or started in the past years were actually “ not needed or that Iraqis did not want”.
C – Stuart W. Bowen, Jr., Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, in his report presented to Congress, stated that projects that were executed in the sphere of reconstruction had not been discussed sufficiently or appropriately with Iraqis, in addition to the fact that a great number of them were either halted half way through or that the Iraqis were unable to protect them after completion.
D – There is also a segment of Iraqis that contributed to the waste of billions of dollars and are represented by contractors or reconstruction middlemen/agents; according to observers a great many of the thieves and beneficiaries have become big businessmen in Iraq as a result of working in contracting with the American side and with the Iraqi Government in other instances; as contractors double or treble the cost of installations or projects they are executing with no oversight, with their paperwork and numbers passing through with complete ease in a corrupt government environment.
A great many of Iraqi infrastructure projects are executed by contracts sold by a main contractor to a secondary contractor who earns his money by selling it to another contractor ending finally with the project being executed at a much lesser cost when compared with the original price which has been lost amongst a chain of middlemen.
E – According to US Monitor, many reconstruction projects in Iraq include shares for senior government officials connected with big contractors; projects which are then sold to executing contactors at a price which insures that they are executed at minimal specifications and a minimal price.
According to observers, the amounts of money that have been allocated for the reconstruction of Iraq have now topped the 2 Trillion Dollar mark, which is sufficient for the reconstruction of several countries but in the end the result is zero! Iraq has not been reconstructed and it is drowning in a sea of violence and fighting; all its institutions are decrepit and collapsing; all its sectors are devastated starting with education, health, electricity, infrastructure, roads, residential buildings, private and public structures and institutions, etc…
The convening of these conferences have become a source of great damage for Iraq and its People, because it is a cover-up for the bitter reality by reassuring the world that there are efforts for reconstruction and the result is only for wasting time and prolonging the suffering to no avail.
And because the funds are spent on reconstruction, however, they end up in corrupt pockets, especially in those of Iraqi officials who have broken the world record in theft of public money and corruption.
In addition, this step will be considered as a reward for our neighbor, Iran, which is embroiled in harming Iraq and preventing its rebuilding as a state, because it is Iran that leads the political and economic process on the ground, and everyone knows that a great deal of the previous reconstruction funds were transferred to it.
Gentlemen, in our estimation, the solution lies in one of three matters:
1 Either postponement of convening such conferences to the appropriate time, and instead, convene international conferences to reform the political situation, involving marginalized Iraqi forces who possess expertise and efficiency in political activity through international serious projects, and not as a formality paying lip service, but that lead to settlement and the ending of marginalization.
2 Or postponing payment of the funds obtained from these conferences until the country becomes stable and people who are incorruptible take over its reins.
3 Or setting up a Reconstruction Fund under International Supervision, and assigning reconstruction work to experienced and reputable foreign companies on condition that these companies actually carry out the work assigned without mediators, while at the same time the Iraqi Government pledges to the International Community that it provides security for these companies and their employees.
Otherwise, these conferences would have caused us to get killed more than once and at more than one level. The International Community is witnessing this slow death and is implicated in wiping out a country called Iraq from the World Map.