13 March 2005 Visiting Basra in southern Iraq, the senior United Nations envoy to the country today pledged the world body's assistance in helping that war-ravaged region to rebuild.
During talks with officials in the region, Ashraf Qazi, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative, noted that the UN has remained engaged in southern Iraq through the work of its local staff and implementation partners.
The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has recently opened a liaison office in Basra to coordinate and oversee activities in southern Iraq. Circumstances permitting, UNAMI officials say they hope to increase the scope and scale of these humanitarian operations.
Mr. Qazi, who also met with UN staff in Basra, affirmed the UN's support for more effective working relationships with concerned Iraqi political and economic entities to ensure that reconstruction and development activities receive the attention and funding they need to deliver improved services to the Iraqi people.
Nearly two dozen UN funds, programmes and agencies are working under UNAMI to provide humanitarian support to Iraq and coordinate international aid.