International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI)
Press Statement of the Third Donor Committee
- The Donor Committee meeting of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) was held in Tokyo on 14 October at the invitation of the Government of Japan.
The meeting was chaired by Mr. Akio Shirota, Ambassador of Japan in charge of reconstruction assistance for Iraq. The Committee thanked the Government of Japan and Ambassador Shirota for hosting and preparing for this meeting.
- Since the last session of the Donor Committee in Doha in May, Turkey was selected to represent contributors of less than $10 million on the Donor Committee as one of the two rotating members, while Denmark and New Zealand joined the IRFFI as members contributing less than $10 million.
- Islamic Republic of Iran joined the Donor Committee as its newest full member based on its firm commitment to contribute $10 million.
- The membership of the Donor Committee was confirmed as follows: Australia, Canada, European Commission, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, the United States of America Finland (rotating member) and Turkey (rotating member).
- The Committee received detailed reports from the World Bank and the UNDG Iraq Trust Fund Administrators. The reports covered IRFFI administration and management, and fiduciary responsibilities. The financial section of the report included detailed information on donor contributions, deposits, donor earmarking and preferences, as well as project commitments and disbursements. The reports also provided an update on the implementation progress of IRFFI funded projects as well as implementation issues and recommended actions.
- The Committee welcomed the progress reports presented by the Trust Fund Administrators. The Committee appreciated that the activities of the Fund Facility were well-integrated into Iraq's development priorities, and asked the Trust funds to continue to ensure that their projects reflect Iraqi Government priorities. The Committee urged the Trust fund to accelerate delivery of programs in Iraq as much as possible. The Committee also asked the IRFFI management to consider innovative implementation mechanisms for projects in Iraq. Planning Minister Dr. Hafedh stressed the importance of developing and using such new modalities for delivering bilateral as well as trust fund assistance.
- The Committee, sharing the view of importance of the coming election, was briefed on the progress of the preparation for the elections to be held in January 2005 including various activities in UNDG cluster 11. The Committee expressed appreciation for the tight timeline for election preparation and the work of the UNDG in supporting the IECI (Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq) in its vital work.
- The Two Trust Funds reported that of the US $1 billion committed, nearly the total amount has been allocated to priority projects approved by the Iraqi Strategic Review Board. The Committee expressed appreciation that despite the security challenges, many of the approved projects are beginning implementation and some are showing results. The Committee also noted that additional priority projects could not be financed without additional funding. The meeting confirmed that a strong foundation has been built for project identification, preparations and implementation by the Iraqi authorities and the IRFFI. To build on this momentum, the chair appealed to existing and new donors to come forward with additional funds to enable IRFFI continue to channel funds for Iraqi priorities.
- The IRFFI Outreach Strategy was also discussed. Individual Donor Committee Members provided an update on their outreach activities.
- In conclusion, the Committee members reiterated their support for the development strategy of the Iraqi Government and their commitment to fulfill their pledges made at the Madrid Donors' Conference and to offer all possible assistance to the Iraqi people through the IRFFI.
- The Donor Committee agreed that the Fourth Donor Committee Meeting would take place in Jordan in next spring. The exact date will be decided at a later date.
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