Iraq, six months on

A survey of the good, the bad and the uncertain
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The Independent Online

Casualties

The total of Allied soldiers killed since Saddam Hussein was deposed on 9 April is 230. The death toll includes 207 American servicemen and 20 Britons. During September, civilian deaths by gunfire in Baghdad totalled 518. Under Saddam, deaths from gun violence in Baghdad averaged 6 per month. According to the central morgue in Baghdad, violent deaths reached 872 in August. The highest monthly toll in the previous year was 237 deaths, with just 21 from gunfire.

Oil & Fuel

Only 300 petrol outlets for Iraq's 25 million people. Officially cheap and available but most rely on the black market. Refineries producing only 1.25m barrels of crude a day, compared with 2.4m barrels a month before the war. Estimated cost of restoring oil production to the pre-1991 level of 3.5m barrels per day is $6.6bn. Iraq is exporting 70,000 barrels per day compared with 1.8m per day before the war.

Food

Three out of five Iraqis depend on food aid. Before the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the imposition of UN sanctions, Iraq was one of the best fed countries in the Middle East. Then, it imported two thirds of its needs.

Water

Safe drinking water is now available to 60% of the population, compared with 85% before the war. The amount proposed by the Coalition Provisional Authority to spend on a new water system is $2.8bn to give 90% of the population a supply of safe drinking water.

Education

Iraq has 15,000 schools and 1.5m secondary school pupils. The United States says 7,000 schools needed repair before the war. So far, 175 have been repaired.

Media

The number of newspapers and magazines being published since Saddam's fall is 189. This compares with 39 under Saddam, all of which were tightly controlled and censored.

Reconstruction

The total cost of rebuilding Iraq is estimated at $100bn, with the US to pay $20.3bn. This is far higher than planned by Washington and $80bn must be raised from donors such as Japan, the EU and Arab states. It includes $2.1bn for policing, $2.1bn for armed forces, $919m for justice, $4.6bn for water and sanitation, $850m for health care, $470m for housing and $835m for transport and telecoms.

Power

Electricity restored to pre-war levels by the US power company Bechtel at £80m cost. Three-quarters of Iraqis to have access by 2005. Baghdad's power is off for 30 minutes a day. Total for electricity development is £2.35bn.

Governance

Iraq is being ruled by US pro-consul Paul Bremer as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority. There are now 70 political parties, compared with the one-party state under Saddam. The US-appointed, 25-strong Iraq Governing Council is sidelined. Despite calls for a rapid handover, the US says it will take six months to draw up the constitution leading to elections and an Iraqi government next year.

Child deaths

Infant mortality has nearly doubled since the war. An independent survey last month showed 103 child deaths per 1,000 live births compared with 57 deaths per 1,000 in 2002.

Opinion

Most Iraqis approve of the removal of Saddam. Last month, Gallup polled residents in Baghdad and found that 62% thought the suffering they have endured was worth it to live in a post-Saddam era. 67% thought that their lives will be better five years from now.

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