Reconstruction From Conflict With ISIS Will Price Iraq $88 Billion

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Reconstruction From Conflict With ISIS Will Price Iraq $88 Billion

Iraqi officials told an global donors' conference that it will cost more than $88 billion to rebuild Iraq after fighting with the Islamic State for more than three years.

The plan spans the next 10 years and Iraq announced on the opening day of the conference that the country needs investments worth US$88.2 billion, of which US$22 billion were required immediately.

He said funds are urgently needed to "restore basic and infrastructure services" in many provinces. It "led to the total destruction of its infrastructure".

According to Kurdish site Rudaw.net, a number of officials from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) are expected to attend Kuwait's worldwide donor conference where they will present investment projects.

The projects include rebuilding destroyed facilities, such as Mosul International Airport, and new investments to diversify the economy away from oil by developing transportation, agriculture and industries based on the country's energy wealth, including petrochemicals and oil refineries.

The United Nations estimates 40,000 homes need to be rebuilt in Mosul alone.

Lise Grande, UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq, said failure to help Iraq could lead to renewed instability.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, whose country is a key member of the anti-IS coalition, visited Iraq on Monday ahead of attending the conference.

"The government came out and said: we are serious about reforms. they know they need to give confidence to the worldwide community that Iraq is a new country, a new place to invest and that will be protected and safe", said Ms Grande.

Kuwait's state news agency, KUNA, reported a pledge of providing Iraq with $330 million in humanitarian aid by non-governmental organizations at a parallel NGO conference.

"If the worldwide community doesn't help the government of Iraq to stabilise these areas (devastated by the war) the gains against Daesh could be at risk", she said, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

Iraq hopes to raise billions of dollars in pledges at the three-day meeting, as the country reels from the rise of IS and punishing fightback against the jihadist group.

Tuesday's announcement is part of the government's Middle East strategy which includes a contribution of $2 billion over three years which is meant to go toward security, stabilization and humanitarian assistance in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria and their impacts on Jordan and Lebanon.

A US -led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein and was followed by years of insurgency, sectarian bloodletting between Sunnis and Shi'ites, as well as ethnic tensions between the Arabs and Kurds, all before ISIL emerged in 2014.

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