The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday passed a bipartisan resolution written by U.S. Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Bob Corker (R-TN) that would urge other nations, especially Iraq’s neighbors, to carry through on earlier pledges to fund Iraq’s reconstruction activities.
The United States has already spent approximately $18.5 billion on reconstruction activities and has authorized another $5.5 billion for additional reconstruction assistance.
“It is not right that the United States, which has sacrificed so many bright young men and women in Iraq, should also be bearing the lion’s share of the burden when it comes to funding reconstruction assistance for Iraq,” said Sen. Casey. “It is time for the international community to get off the fence, especially Iraq’s neighbors who have the most to gain from a more stable nation on their borders.”
“A stable and successful Iraq is in the best interest of the broader Middle East and the international community as a whole, but Iraq's neighbors - who obviously have much at stake - are not fully honoring their obligations. They need to step up and honor the commitments they've made,” said Sen. Corker. “With the full investment of funds that have been pledged to Iraq, the nation will be capable of supporting its own needs sooner.”
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), in December, and the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, in January, both released reports stating that Iraq’s neighbors and other key international partners are not holding up their end of the bargain when it comes to carrying through on pledges of economic reconstruction assistance to Iraq. Since 2003, international donors have pledged more than $16 billion in assistance for reconstruction activities in Iraq, but have only disbursed less than half that amount.