|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
June 16, 2003
The Coalition has begun the process of putting a country together that has been ravaged for 30 years by political tyranny and economic under-investment.
Before the war, unemployment was about 50 percent, and it is likely substantially higher now. There is no higher priority than creating jobs, getting productive activity going again, and starting to reverse chronic underinvestment in infrastructure.
The Coalition has already started to partner with Iraqi businessmen and women and with officials to find ways to carry out the best economic policy. The IMF, World Bank, and UNDP are also engaged in this partnership.
One new initiative is a $100 million emergency program to help restart the construction industry.
The Coalition is also trying to encourage trade and help Iraq to re-enter the world economy. The most obvious example of that is the sale of oil, and in the next few days, Iraq will reenter the world petroleum market.
These activities are just the beginning. There are many challenges to restarting the economy. The Coalition is forging ahead with Iraqi partners to restructure Iraq's economy.