Humanitarian Work in Iraq

The news doesn’™t talk about the schools and electrical plants we’™re building, goes the FoxNews whine. Therefore, the people of the United States don’™t know how much good we’™re doing. . . .

Well, there’™s great news here! We’™ve built 20 clinics in and around Iraq and they are working to make the Iraqi [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

The news doesn’™t talk about the schools and electrical plants we’™re building, goes the FoxNews whine. Therefore, the people of the United States don’™t know how much good we’™re doing. . . .

Well, there’™s great news here! We’™ve built 20 clinics in and around Iraq and they are working to make the Iraqi people healthy. I suppose that’™s good news, except for the fact that we set out with our $253 Million to build 150 clinics, which now won’™t be built without a major infusion of more funds.

A $243 million program led by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to build 150 health care clinics in Iraq has in some cases produced little more than empty shells of crumbling concrete and shattered bricks cemented together into uneven walls, two reports by a federal oversight office have found.


The reports, released yesterday, detail a close inspection of five of the clinics in the northern city of Kirkuk as well as a sweeping audit of the entire program, which began in March 2004 as a heavily promoted effort to improve health care for ordinary Iraqis. The reports say that none of the five clinics in Kirkuk and only 20 of the original 150 across the country will be completed without new financing.

Written by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent office, the reports cite a wide range of factors, including disputes among Iraqi construction companies and problems with local materials, that have contributed to the program’™s failures. The American company Parsons, the prime contractor for the work, also comes in for stiff criticism.

But the reports’™ main finding is that lax oversight by the Army corps is responsible for the failure of the overall program. Cowed by security fears that the reports suggest may have been overblown, the corps sometimes inspected the work only through what it called ‘œwindshield surveys’ ï–¿–½ hasty drive-bys.

Want to bet Parsons was a no-bid contract?

Sunday, April 30th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Iraq

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