Kuwait pledges $2 billion for Iraq's reconstruction

Kuwait pledges $2 billion for Iraq's reconstruction

Kuwait pledges $2 billion for Iraq's reconstruction

Baghdad says it needs almost $90 billion to rebuild, after more than three years of fighting with IS devastated homes, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure.

Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait this week to discuss efforts to rebuild Iraq's economy and infrastructure as it emerges from a conflict with Islamic State militants who seized nearly a third of the country.

The war against the Islamic State group displaced more than 5 million people in Iraq, only half of whom have returned to their hometowns.

"Rebuilding Iraq is restoring hope to Iraq, and restoring the stability of Iraq is stabilising the states of the region and the world".

It is also counting on a Saudi-Iraqi rapprochement to weaken Iran's influence there.

He made the announcement at the International Coalition against the Islamic State (IS) meeting at the level of foreign ministers, which kicked off on Tuesday.

Iraq received billions of dollars in credit lines, loans, and investment from Turkey, Gulf Arab allies, Europe, and other countries, their representatives announced at an global conference in Kuwait on Wednesday. According to the report, "Iraq: Reconstruction and Investment", released by Kuwait's Chamber of Commerce and Industry in January, more than 200 projects in 10 sectors, including education, health, transportation and agriculture, are ready to receive financing.

"But it is also - and there are Arab donors willing to help and support - focus your efforts on those areas where it actually achieves something in terms of stabilisation and countering foreign influence". It was not clear if these investments were new or already in place.

Iraq, which still owes Kuwait reparations from the 1991 Gulf War, declared victory over Islamic State in December, having taken back all the territory the jihadist group captured in 2014 and 2015.

As part of its Middle East strategy, Canada is contributing $2 billion over the course of three years toward security, stabilization, and humanitarian and development assistance in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria and their impacts on neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon, Freeland said.

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