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Devastated Iraq seeks $90 billion for reconstruction

15 February 2018

Iraq needs $88.2 billion (Dhs323.2 billion) to rebuild, Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili said on Monday.

As a three-day global 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.

Ahead of a conference on Iraq's reconstruction that will be held in Kuwait next week, Iraq's National Investment Commission published a list of major strategic projects available for investment, with 157 different opportunities up for grabs.

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, told the conference.

Around 138,000 houses and flats have been damaged, with half of them completely destroyed.

Nations could help by acting as guarantors with lenders, allowing Iraq to take out soft loans to fund infrastructure projects, Mahdi al-Alaq, secretary general of Iraq's Council of Ministers, told the conference.

Kuwait announced $330 million had been pledged Monday for Iraq which will go to more than 4 million children in need of humanitarian assistance.

Lise Grande, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, warned failure to help Iraq could lead to renewed instability.

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He said that broad participation in these events gives it a great importance and is a message from the worldwide community regarding its commitment to the security and stability of Iraq and its commitment to the reconstruction of its liberated areas.

Iraq needs some $20 billion now to begin its reconstruction, al-Hiti said.

The three-day meeting brings together several economic powers as well as regional and worldwide organizations to discuss the needed contributions to rebuilding Iraq in the post war era.

Iraq reopened to foreign investment after 2003, with most spent on increasing its oil and natural gas production.

Iraqi forces are backed by an worldwide coalition led by the United States, which pounds militant strongholds from the air.

"Iraq is emerging from a devastating period of conflict and violence", noted the World Bank study cited by the Journal.

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.

Devastated Iraq seeks $90 billion for reconstruction