At the Iraq donors’ conference in Madrid, the mood was reportedly more upbeat on 24 October as the outcome seemed less bleak than originally expected.
The results of the Iraq donors' conference, hosted by Madrid on 23-24 October, came in well above the initial low expectations. By midday on 24 October, governments and international agencies had pledged in excess of 37.5 billion US dollars in aid to help rebuild Iraq. This sum includes the 20 billion US dollar purse promised earlier by Washington. An estimated 56 billion US dollars are needed to cover Iraq's medium-term needs (see alsoEURACTIV 23 October 2003). Most of the funds being raised are to go into a trust managed by the World Bank, the UN and a committee of Iraqis. The pledges came in a variety of forms, including humanitarian and reconstruction aid, export credits and project finance, and covered different time periods. Total pledges from the EU community budget and Member States from now until 2007 stand at 1.3 billion euro.