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Aid organisations hope for more investment in Iraq

[Iraq] Destruction in Fallujah.
WEF hopes to encourage investment for reconstruction in Iraq. (IRIN)

As Jordan prepared to host the World Economic Forum (WEF) this Friday, aid organisations said they hope the event will assist in the development of Iraq.

“We hope that the forum will further speed the development process in Iraq and we hope that it will encourage the private sector to invest in the country, as the private sector is a major job creator and employer,” Faris Haddad from the World Bank Iraq office based in the Jordanian capital, Amman, told IRIN on Thursday.

The Iraqi government is now planning medium-term projects. A critical element being considered is the humanitarian situation, where vulnerable groups’ needs should be urgently met, Haddad added.

Many aid agencies and contractors have pulled out of Iraq because of insecurity hampering reconstruction efforts.

Around US $32 billion has been pledged for the reconstruction of Iraq by some 37 countries. The funds will be channelled through the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) launched early in 2004 by the UN and the World Bank.

The facility helps donor nations channel their resources and coordinate their support for reconstruction and development in Iraq. So far more than half a billion dollars of these funds have been approved for reconstruction projects.

A series of round table discussions were held with key political and business figures in the week leading up to the forum where the issue of public-private partnerships was identified as a key factor in development.

More than 1,300 participants will be attending this year’s two-day forum between 20-22 May, at the Dead Sea. The list of attendees includes key public figures as well as prominent private sector organisations and NGOs from the Middle East, Europe, Africa, the USA and Australia.

This is the third consecutive year that the WEF is being held in Jordan, with this year’s theme being ‘Seizing the Moment.’ Participants will examine a number of themes including economic growth, peace and security, reform and the Middle East in the global economy as well as society and change.

The WEF is an independent, international non-profit organisation that aims at establishing a world class corporate governance system.

“We believe that economic progress without social development is not sustainable, while social development without economic progress is not feasible,” a WEF statement said.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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