Kuwait urges broad participation in reconstruction of Iraq

Iraq is hoping to raise billions of dollars at a donor conference starting on Monday in Kuwait - to finance the reconstruction after its campaign against ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS).

About $22 billion is required in the short term and another $66 billion in the medium term, the director-general of the country's planning ministry, Qusay Adulfattah, told the conference, which lasts until Wednesday.

"All told, the Iraq government is seeking about $100 billion in foreign investment for its energy, agricultural and transport sectors", added WSJ.

Other Iraqi authorities said that a bulk of the funds was urgently needed for rebuilding the houses destroyed during the Daesh militancy, which are estimated at around 147,000 units. It "led to the total destruction of its infrastructure".

The government in Baghdad says it needs almost US$90 billion (RM354.96 billion) to rebuild devastated homes, schools, hospitals and economic infrastructure after three years of war against IS.

CNBC, quoted the United Nations estimating that 40,000 homes need to be rebuilt in Mosul alone and Iraqi officials estimate $17bn alone needs to go toward rebuilding homes.

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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.

It announced $330 million alone had been pledged Monday for Iraq at a humanitarian conference in Kuwait City.

"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", she said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

Baghdad has said it is determined to tackle the red tape and corruption that hamper investment.

"Rebuilding Iraq is restoring hope to Iraq, and restoring the stability of Iraq is stabilizing the states of the region and the world", al-Jumaili told delegates, adding that the reconstruction was therefore partly the worldwide community's responsibility. However, the U.S. provided Iraq with over $600 million in humanitarian funding for the fiscal year of 2017, according to U.S. Aid. A USA -led invasion in 2003 toppled dictator Saddam Hussein and was followed by years of occupation, insurgency and sectarian and ethnic conflict, before Islamic State emerged in 2014.

  • Sonia Alvarado