Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Japanese aid to Iraq

Japan is going to buy the Iraqi police new cars, hopes to be able to "provide aid for the construction and reconstruction of schools", and has already spent 90 million on Iraqi hospitals.

Japan will help Iraq buy about 600 police cars as part of its reconstruction efforts, government officials said Wednesday.

The vehicles, aimed at enhancing security in Iraq, will mainly be deployed in the southern city of Samawah, where Japanese ground troops will be dispatched, the officials said. The government will disburse about $28 million, or 3 billion yen, to help with the purchase, they said.

The plan will formally be approved at a Cabinet meeting Friday, they said.

Japan hopes to provide aid for the construction and reconstruction of schools and houses through international organizations, but it has decided not to move ahead with such assistance for now due to the worsening security situation, the officials said.

Japan has so far disbursed about $90 million in grants for reconstructing hospitals.


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