"U.S.-funded reconstruction programs in Iraq have created only 80,000 jobs, far below the projected goal of 250,000 set last year by the Coalition Provisional Authority. As a result, Iraqs population of 25 million is suffering from close to 50 percent unemployment and underemployment. In some parts of the country, unemployment alone is as high as 60 percent. While the disappointing numbers can largely be attributed to the slow disbursement of U.S. reconstruction assistance (only $1.3 billion out of $18.4 billion), according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, only 27 percent of that aid actually reaches the Iraqi people. The rest goes to costs associated with insurance, overhead, security, profits, and foreign salaries - money that doesn't enter Iraq's economy."
Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.