Baghdad, 13 September 2003 (RFE/RL) - An Iraqi official says his country needs about $20 billion to rebuild its electricity-generating capacity. Iraq's interim Electricity Minister Ayham Sameraei said this is the estimate of his ministry and the U.S.-led civil administration that has been ruling Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein's government five months ago.
Iraq's power plants have been hit hard by postwar sabotage and dilapidation caused by years of UN trade sanctions.
U.S. President George W. Bush has asked Congress to approve a $20 billion budget for Iraq's reconstruction. Samaraei said he hopes at least $6 billion of this will be committed to the power industry.