The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Tuesday, November 4


The Washington Post has an interesting article on delivering school supplies to children in Iraq. Security Holds Up School Supplies by Ariana Eunjung Cha in the November 5, 2003 issue contains details of where some of the funding awarded to Creative Associates International Inc. was spent. The article also includes names of some of the subcontractors involved.
The materials for each of the 1.5 million school kits cost $4.56, and the extra delivery costs added 75 cents per kit -- about 16 percent to the price tag. Creative Associates also is spending up to $1.25 million of its $63 million contract on security for project personnel.


The delivery of 58,500 aluminum-framed green chalkboards and erasers, which cost $2.7 million, also turned out to be unexpectedly complex. Designed by British firm Findel Education Ltd., they were manufactured in Turkey. When the chalkboards were ordered in the early summer, the roads from the north to Baghdad were relatively safe. Most of the planned route went through Kurdistan, a region that had been oppressed under the old regime and where there has been little violence against the U.S.-led occupiers. A single Turkish firm, Caniler, agreed to take the goods all the way to the Iraqi governorates for $780,000.
Approximately $8 million for school supplies and delivery, $3.5 million for chalkboards, erasers, and delivery. Subcontractors include: American Manufacturers Export Group Inc., an unknown manufacturing company in China, Matrix International Logistics Inc., Findel Education Ltd., an unknown manufacturing company in Turkey, Caniler, an unknown trucking company in Iraq.

According to the article, the school kits include:
12 No. 2 pencils, 6 ballpoint pens, 10 writing tablets, a metric ruler, erasers, mini-calculator, geometry set and plastic pencil sharpener. The red-white-and-blue USAID logo was stamped in as many places as possible.
No mention of who printed the USAID logos or how much it cost to do. We hope they remembered the chalk.


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