Monday, 19 February, 2018

Iraq's reconstruction after ISIL defeat to cost $88 bln

16 2017 shows Iraqi volunteers salvaging and cleaning up the debris and destruction in the Bab al Saray area in the old city of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul TigerSwan to Attend Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq
Ray Hunter | 15 February, 2018, 02:13

Donors and investors were told the bill to replace housing and infrastructure destroyed by the conflict will amount to $88.2bn by Iraqi officials at an global conference held in neighbouring Kuwait on Monday (12 February).

"If the global community doesn't help the government of Iraq to stabilize these areas (devastated by the war) the gains against Daesh could be at risk", said Lise Grande, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, at the Kuwait conference.

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.

Qusai Abdelfattah, director general at the planning ministry, said US$22 billion of those funds were needed immediately and the rest for the medium term.

The seven provinces attacked by the militants suffered $46 billion in direct damage, including the destruction of 147,000 housing units, and the security forces took $14 billion in losses.

They include rebuilding destroyed facilities such as Mosul airport and new investments to diversify the economy away from crude oil sales, developing transport, agriculture and oil-related industry including petrochemicals and refining. Jobs for young people could be provided during the rebuilding of homes, schools and other vital infrastructure systems in the country.

"We have more than 138,000 houses damaged, more than half this number completely destroyed", Hiti said, adding that more than 2.5 million Iraqis are still displaced. The fighters have also been largely defeated in neighboring Syria.

From Spain: Neymar to join Real Madrid in 2019
However, the Uruguay global does not anticipate there being many goals in the first leg of the Madrid tie. And Di Maria has since moved on to PSG , after quitting United after just a year at Old Trafford.

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

The government appeal was made during an worldwide aid conference that opened in Kuwait on Monday.

"At a time when only a few countries were participating in the reconstruction of Iraq, Iranian companies were active in building roads in the country and providing Iraqis with engineering services", he was quoted by state news agency IRNA. Baghdad has said it is determined to tackle the red tape and corruption that hamper investment.

Of the money needed, Iraqi officials estimate $17 billion alone needs to go toward rebuilding homes, the biggest single line item offered Monday on the first day of meetings.

Araji said that Iraq, which has been either at war or under worldwide sanctions since 1980, is offering projects in nearly every field of the economy - from oil to agriculture.

The US also occupied Iraq for eight years after its invasion of the country in 2003, which led to the fall of former strongman Saddam Hussein.

"The U.S., which has already spent billions of dollars on the war against ISIS and in providing aid to displaced Iraqis and Syrians, doesn't intend to donate funds for Iraq's reconstruction", pointed out WSJ.

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