UK pledges additional $300 million for Iraq

14 October 2003
The UK on 13 October said it would offer another£300 million ($497 million) to help rebuild Iraq, in addition to the£200 million ($331 million) that has already been earmarked for the reconstruction effort. UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw made the announcement at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in the hope that other countries would be encouraged to follow suit. 'What I am looking for is that there should be further substantial contributions made for subsequent years,' he said. However, an unnamed EU official, speaking to the BBC at the Luxembourg conference, said that there was a feeling among member states that, 'those who broke Iraq should pay to fix it', referring to the US-led coalition. Other EU members said that their willingness to participate in the reconstruction effort rested on the UN playing a strong and vital role.

The UK, along with other donors, will officially offer the money to Iraq during the upcoming donors' conference in Madrid on 23-24 October. The coalition has urged the international community to donate as much as possible at the Madrid meeting, during which it hopes to raise part of the estimated $55,000 million needed for reconstruction efforts. The US and Japan have offered to cover nearly half of the bill between them, donating $20,300 million and $5,000 million respectively, but other countries have only offered comparatively small sums. In particular, the EU received criticism recently for its offer of Eur 200 million ($233 million).

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