Corruption Shadows Iraq Rebuilding
US investigates dozens of fraud cases as pricey projects disintegrate
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 30, 2007 2:48 PM CDT
ncies said Monday. Those Iraqis are in urgent need of water, sanitation, food and shelter, said the report by Oxfam and the NGO Coordination Committee network in Iraq.(AP Photo/Wisam Sami)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – US auditors monitoring the rebuilding process in Iraq are battling forces they compare to "a second insurgency"—corruption and economic mismanagement. The Iraqi government is refusing to handle reconstruction projects worth billions of dollars, and US officials are now investigating more than 50 fraud cases, the BBC reports.

Stuart Bowen, the inspector general overseeing Iraq reconstruction, describes the corruption as endemic and an "enemy to democracy." Last year, Iraq PM Nouri al-Maliki's government nearly exhausted its budget allocation for salaries but spent less than a quarter of the money set aside for rebuilding projects.