Thursday, November 16, 2006


$437 million for transport systems reconstruction

The government has earmarked $437 million for the construction of new roads and bridges and the rehabilitation of the existing transport systems, a senior transport official said. Shirin Barwari, head of contracts at the Transport Communication Ministry, said a large portion of the money is part of the U.S. grant to reconstruct the country. U.S. Agency for International Development is involved in scores of projects in Iraq and is perhaps the only foreign agency actively participating in the Iraqi reconstruction.
Shirin said the agency would directly finance many of the projects which include airports, railways, roads and bridges. Part of the money, she said, will be spent on improving conditions on Iraqi highways and airports. The airports in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul will get priority, she said. Some 110 land projects for which $155 have been allocated will be implemented, she said. In the railway sector there will 99 projects at a cost of $41 million, she added. The rest of the money will be spent on ports at the head of the Gulf to handle a surge in foreign shipments. The port in Basra will be expanded with the addition of new platforms, Shirin said.

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