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Cablegate: Message to Prts: Provincial Investment Budget

VZCZCXRO4559
PP RUEHBC RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0508 0530943
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 220943Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHBC/REO BASRAH PRIORITY 2319
RUEHIHL/REO HILLAH PRIORITY 2265
RUEHKUK/REO KIRKUK PRIORITY 2259
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5843

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 000508

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FROM AMBASSADOR CROCKER TO PRT TEAM LEADERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EFIN PGOV IZ
SUBJECT: MESSAGE TO PRTS: PROVINCIAL INVESTMENT BUDGET
EXECUTION IN 2008

REF: BAGHDAD 449

1. The Council of Representatives passed the 2008 federal
budget on Wednesday, February 13 (Reftel A), and ratification
by the Presidency Council is imminent. Buoyed by record oil
earnings, the 2008 budget is the most ambitious in Iraq's
history. Totaling USD 49.9 billion, it contains USD 13.1
billion for capital expenditures of which USD 2.5 billion has
been allocated for the KRG. Provincial construction and
development grants are budgeted at USD 3.3 billion, a 38
percent increase from 2007.

2. As we move forward in 2008, it is crucial for the GoI to
consolidate the improved security environment through good
governance, the provision of services, and economic
development. The USD 3.3 billion allocated for provincial
capital projects provides the resources to deliver on these
objectives. It will take effective budget execution to turn
these goals into reality. Nothing will do more to help
federal and provincial authorities earn the trust of the
populace and undermine the insurgency.

3. The provinces made progress in the past year, particularly
since many had to work to spend a substantial portion of
their 2006 funding in addition to what they received in 2007.
However, much remains to be accomplished. The resources are
there, but they must be effectively utilized to make a
difference in people's lives.

4. Improving budget execution must be our top priority this
year. PRT staff at all levels should be helping counterparts
develop, contract and carry out capital projects using GoI
funding streams. Whenever possible our scarce funds should be
used to leverage GoI funding streams, through co-financing or
other innovative means. If additional staff or resources are
needed for you to have the necessary impact, please work
through the Office of Provincial Affairs to make your needs
known. The Embassy is prepared to mobilize resources to
support your work in this crucial area.
CROCKER

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