Rebuilding Iraq

Housing tops Baghdad’s growing to-do list, but as work begins on infrastructure ranging from airports to sewage plants, Iraq’s modest contracting capacity is being stretched to its limits, reports Gulf News.

Iraq faces mounting reconstruction needs across its housing and infrastructure sectors, yet the country’s contracting sector is struggling to maintain momentum as increasing numbers of Iraqis clamor for homes.

Large international contractors have their hands full in other parts of the region, and local players are finding it a challenge to procure equipment and materials to commit to project schedules. All this is slowing progress on key projects for which budget has already been made available.

Iraq’s $72 billion budget for 2010 has earmarked 30 per cent of this spend for infrastructure and development projects and Baghdad has not been shy in promising large sums to flesh out its plans over the longer-term. It has, for example, pledged at least $150bn in total to develop infrastructure, agriculture, transport, telecoms, energy, entertainment and housing industries.

However, the failure to form a government five months after inconclusive national elections isn’t helping things; obtaining licenses and approvals is proving a lengthy process in Iraq, as developers frequently complain.

(Source: Gulf News)

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