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Iraq Reconstruction Conference Ends Today

19 July 2005 -- An international conference on rebuilding postwar Iraq ends today on the Dead Sea coast in Jordan.

Officials from some 60 countries and international organizations are participating in the two-day meeting at Shuneh to review Iraq's reconstruction needs and coordinate with donors on ways to move forward.

At yesterday's opening session, Iraq's planning minister Barham Salih said Iraq had received only $7 billion of the $32 billion pledged by foreign countries. He added that most of that money has not gone toward reconstruction but rather security needs.

At the conference, the World Bank said that it would provide $500 million over two years, its first loan to Iraq since 1973.