July 5, 2004 – The US has spent only 2 percent of the $18.4 billion allocated by Congress for the badly needed reconstruction of Iraq, according to figures released by the White House budget office. Administrators of the US-led occupation had pledged to spend $10 billion on rebuilding projects in Iraq by June 30, but the White House figures show that officials actually spent only $366 million as of June 22.
Those statistics are part of the Bush administrationâ€™s first detailed audit of reconstruction spending since the occupation began more than 14 months ago. The audit indicates that US occupation authorities spent no Congressional money repairing Iraqâ€™s crumbling healthcare system or its water and sanitation infrastructure, two of the most pressing needs in the country. By contrast, US administrators spent more than $11 billion from an account holding Iraqâ€™s oil revenues, most of it going to run Iraqi government ministries.
A spokesperson for the budget office said the figure of $366 million was misleading because occupation authorities had approved, but not yet spent, $5.3 billion in spending on reconstruction projects, a number that is still well short of the promised $10 billion.
The spending figures released by the White House donâ€™t include the war-fighting and military occupation costs, which had reached $97 billion two months ago.