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Iraq: Overseas Aid

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what sectoral priorities the Government is supporting through aid in Iraq. (156354)

Iraq is a wealthy country, with Government revenues expected to be around $33 billion this year. Our priority is helping the Iraqi Government to unlock the potential of its human and financial resources to enable growth and deliver better public services to its own people. We also aim to internationalise the aid effort by leveraging a more effective role for key players such as the World Bank and IMF and we support the most vulnerable Iraqis through contributions to humanitarian agencies.

Since March 2003, the UK Government have provided £744 million for these reconstruction and development priorities in Iraq. This includes £90 million for infrastructure projects and £125 million for humanitarian agencies. Current programmes include: an Economic Reform Programme advising the Iraqi Government on macro-economic, fiscal and public financial management issues; our Support of Centre of Government programme to help build key Government institutions of central Government including the Prime Minister’s office; and work through the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Basra to promote public and private investment. We are also supporting the establishment of institutions including the Basra Investment Promotion Agency and Basra Development Fund designed to promote private sector development and credit for small and medium enterprises. This work is already serving as a model for assistance elsewhere in Iraq.