Iraq seeks $100 billion from donors for post-ISIL reconstruction

Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani received the US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman in Erbil Feb. 8 2018

Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani received the US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman in Erbil Feb. 8 2018

WAR-BATTERED Iraq today sought to attract global investors to rebuild the country after defeating the Islamic State group, offering hundreds of projects and touting extensive legal guarantees.

As a three-day worldwide reconstruction conference got underway in Kuwait, officials were seeking pledges from donors and investors to restore Iraq s devastated homes, schools, hospitals and economic infrastructure.

Kuwait has opened a week of conferences seeking aid for rebuilding Iraq after the onslaught of the Islamic State group.

Iraq needs around $22bn in the short term and another $66bn in the medium term, said the director-general of the country's planning ministry Qusay Adulfattah.

They confirmed the obstacles in Iraq are not restricted to reconstructing the areas affected from the war on terror. These projects are largely focused on infrastructure, with rebuilding the facilities at Mosul's airport a major focus, according to Reuters.

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

The United Nations has warned that the failure of the worldwide community and major powers in the West to help Iraq could lead to renewed instability. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will attend the conference, and he has said that there are "Arab donors willing to help and support".

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"What we have accomplished is less than one percent of what Iraq needs", Hiti said.

Oil-rich Iraq's economy was weakened by years of worldwide sanctions under Saddam Hussein's regime.

Kuwait's state news agency, KUNA, reported a pledge of providing Iraq with $330 million in humanitarian aid by non-governmental organizations at a parallel NGO conference.

Baghdad has said it is determined to tackle the red tape and corruption that hamper investment. The three-day meeting brings together several economic powers as well as regional and global organizations.

Iraq reopened to foreign investment after the 2003 invasion but the vast majority of the billions of dollars invested went to increasing its oil and natural gas production.

"Iraq is emerging from a devastating period of conflict and violence", noted the World Bank study cited by the Journal. It fought Iran for most of the 1980s and invaded Kuwait in 1990, leading to defeat by a USA -led coalition and more than a decade of sanctions.

Iraq reopened to foreign investment after the 2003 US invasion, but the vast majority of the billions of dollars invested went to increasing its oil and natural gas production.

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