Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Cost of rebuilding Iraq pegged at more than $88B US

Cost of rebuilding Iraq pegged at more than $88B US

Iraq's Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili said the country needs 88.2 billion dollars for reconstruction.

The three-day Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq began here on Monday.

About $23 billion will be needed in the short term and more than $65 billion in the medium term, the director general of Iraq's Planning Ministry, Qusay Adulfattah.

"Iraq is open for investors", declared Sami al-Araji, chairman of Iraq's National Investment Commission, on the second day of a major reconstruction conference in Kuwait.

Iraq's volatile security has driven foreign businesses from investing in a country that is only just starting to emerge from a three-year war and has yet to eradicate widespread corruption.

The United States will be a main absentee from plans to contribute to Iraq's finances, U.S. officials say as Baghdad seeks to rebuild the country following a devastating battle against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

The U.S. -backed military campaign that defeated Islamic State militants in Iraq has resulted in $45.7 billion in damage to the country's houses, power plants, schools and other civilian infrastructure, according to a new assessment by experts at the World Bank and the Iraqi government.

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The housing sector has the most urgent need for funds, said Raja Rehan Arshad, the lead disaster risk management specialist for the World Bank.

Non-governmental organisations pledged $330 million in humanitarian aid at a parallel NGO conference, Kuwait's state news agency KUNA reported.

Worldwide organisations are to speak on the first day, while attending donor countries are expected to make announcements on the third.

"There may be donor fatigue, but no one today can tell me there isn't money".

"The government came out and said: we are serious about reforms. they know they need to give confidence to the global community that Iraq is a new country, a new place to invest and that will be protected and safe", said Ms Grande. The years of insurgency, sectarian violence and ethnic tensions that followed his overthrow in 2003 helped fuel the emergence of IS, a little more than a decade later. We will always be there.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was ready to answer a USA call for it to expand its small training mission in Iraq to support reconstruction. Iraqi forces, aided by Iranian-backed Shiite militias and a US -led coalition, recaptured the city in July 2017.

This funding also helps internally displaced people in Iraq return home safely and supports the clearance of explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices in areas newly liberated from Daesh, states the release.

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