Friday, 25 May, 2018

Kuwait pledges $2 billion for rebuilding Iraq

Iraq Says $4B Needed For New Downstream Oil Investments Iraq needs $4 billion for new investments in its downstream oil industry oil minister Jabar al Luaibi says
Lillian Steele | 14 February, 2018, 19:24

Iraq received promises of billions of dollars, mostly in credit facilities and investment pledges, on Wednesday from allies but has so far fallen short of the amount the government says is needed to recover from three years of war.

The donation by Kuwait's ruling emir, the 88-year-old Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, showed the deep interest his nation has in making sure Iraq becomes a peaceful, stable country after the war against IS.

Baghdad says it needs almost $90 billion to rebuild after three years of war with the Islamic State group devastated homes, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure.

Saudi Arabia said it would allocate $1 billion for investment projects in Iraq and $500 million to support Iraqi exports.

It made the announcement on Wednesday at a conference in Kuwait City. Saddam was later toppled by the 2003 US invasion.

The reconstruction conference was taking place two weeks before Kuwait celebrates its Liberation Day from Iraq, which invaded in 1990, leading to defeat by a US-led coalition and more than a decade of sanctions against Baghdad.

The victory came at a steep cost for Mosul, as coalition airstrikes and extremist suicide auto bombs destroyed homes and government buildings.

Iraqi officials estimate that the biggest chunk of the money needed, around $17 billion, is required exclusively to rebuild homes. Only half of them have returned to their home towns.

"Reconstruction is not just about rebuilding infrastructure-it's about improving people's lives", said United Nations' Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande.

The U.S. alone spent $60 billion over nine years - some $15 million a day - to rebuild Iraq.

The United States and the United Nations say that failure to help Iraq rebuild could lead to a reversal in gains made against IS there, as the conditions that kindled sectarian alienation and bloodshed, allowing militants to take over, would remain.

Meanwhile, regional tensions may affect how spending comes.

Over 70 countries were in attendance at the meeting, including important players like the United States, the EU, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Germany, among others.

"We need to rely on all our neighbors and friends to help Iraq invest in its future", he said.

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