The United States will be a main absentee from plans to contribute to Iraq's finances, U.S. officials say as Baghdad seeks to rebuild the country following a devastating battle against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait this week to discuss efforts to rebuild Iraq's economy and infrastructure as it emerges from a devastating three-year conflict with the terrorists who seized nearly a third of the country.
However, the figure would be far shy of Iraq's estimates for funds needed to press ahead with post-Daesh reconstruction efforts.
Housebuilding is the most urgent task for Iraq, said Raja Rehan Arshad, the lead disaster risk management specialist for the World Bank.
"Rebuilding Iraq is restoring hope to Iraq, and restoring the stability of Iraq is stabilising the states of the region and the world", said Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili. It "led to the total destruction of its infrastructure". Iraq needs some $20 billion now to begin its reconstruction, al-Hiti said. Almost $30 billion is needed to restore energy and industrial infrastructure, he said.
A boy holds onto his mother as a Iraqi special forces armored vehicles drive by, during fighting with Islamic state militants in western Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, March 14, 2017.
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A US -led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003 and was followed by years of insurgency, sectarian bloodletting between Sunnis and Shias, as well as ethnic tensions between the Arabs and Kurds, all before ISIS emerged in 2014.
Iraq has suffered from decades of war and it is striking that it is holding its reconstruction conference in Kuwait, which it invaded in 1990, leading to defeat by a USA -led coalition and more than a decade of sanctions. While Iraq is OPEC's second-largest crude producer and home to the world's fifth-largest known reserves, it says it needs $7 billion to fix its oil and gas fields.
Iraq has been plagued by violence over the past 15 years. The official said the package will be structured so that the initial amount could rise to as much as $5 billion over several years.
The first day of the conference is allocated for Iraq reconstruction programs and worldwide assistance in this regard as well as the development works carried out by the non-governmental organizations in Iraq.
Non-governmental organisations yesterday pledged US$330 million but the main commitments are expected to be made by about 70 countries on the final day of the conference tomorrow. One out of four Iraqi children across the country live in poverty in the nation of 37 million people.
"I have come to tell you of France's support and to accompany you".
Iraq has suffered from decades of war.