Speaking at a USAID seminar in Washington by telephone from Kuwait City earlier in April, Jabba said that an English-speaking professional can be hired in Iraq for about $100 a month, engineers earn $50 a month and teachers get paid $30 a month. ‘As demand increases, we are looking at something probably close to $100 a month [for engineers],’ he said. ‘If it is an Iraqi that’s been living outside the country, he’s going to demand something like 10 times that rate.’

Jabba said that in mid-April, 95 per cent of telephone lines were not working in Iraq and there were no functioning cell phones outside Basra. He said that the US-led coalition was planning to establish a cell phone service for its own use.