Friday, April 30, 2004

According to the Washington Post, only 5% of the foreign aid package for the rebuilding of Iraq has actually been spent, and much of that has gone to administrative costs. "So far, occupation officials have reassigned $184 million appropriated for drinking-water projects to fund the operations of the U.S. Embassy after the provisional authority is dissolved June 30. An additional $29 million from projects such as "democracy building" were reallocated to fund the U.S. development agency's administrative expenses." Congress is, understandably, upset. "Aides from both parties told CPA officials this week to find the embassy money somewhere else, said Tim Rieser, chief Democratic clerk for the Senate Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee. 'Cutting funds from water and sanitation makes no sense,' Rieser said. 'Potable water is desperately needed in that country.'" It's kind of hard to win the hearts and minds of the people when you're not even giving them basic necessities like clean drinking water!