Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Outside the Nest: Rebuilding Iraq

Tillerson to address Iraq Reconstruction Conference but promise no US money US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert
Glenn Montgomery | 15 February, 2018, 02:12

"Rebuilding Iraq is restoring hope to Iraq, and restoring the stability of Iraq is stabilizing the states of the region and the world", said Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili, adding that it also fell on the global community to aid reconstruction.

The conference brings together hundreds of representatives of countries, aid groups, United Nations agencies and corporations.

The estimate was based on an assessment study by Iraqi and worldwide experts, the minister told the opening session of the three-day conference.

"Rebuilding Iraq is restoring hope to Iraq, and restoring the stability of Iraq is stabilizing the states of the region and the world", Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili said.

The three-day KICRI kicked off Monday in Kuwait City, which brought together several economic powers, as well as regional and worldwide organizations, to make contributions to rebuilding Iraq after many years of war and conflict that ripped through various parts of the country.

The speakers said the size of the damage and the lack of basic services has made living in those areas nearly impossible, confirming the need to help the displaced and to facilitate their lives and work to return them to their areas after rehabilitating them.

Kuwait, hosting the conferences this week, has a deep interest in seeing a stable Iraq, especially after Baghdad's 1990 invasion of their small, oil-rich emirate. Meanwhile the World Bank pledged $400 million.

"It's not in the question of a pledging thing where we go out with requests, it's underscoring (that) there is a need for support".

The conference was held in Kuwait and included donors and investors, as well as other countries.

The US spent $60 billion on projects aimed at reconstructing Iraq after the ouster of President Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Over the following three days government ministers are set to outline their funding needs for two key areas, according to Lise Grande, the UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq. It has struggled to pay worldwide firms running them. "They'll need two sets of reforms, and those reforms can't wait".

The foreign ministry spokesman noted that Iran will continue to support Iraq in post-ISIL era as it did during the fight against the terrorist group.

Abdulwahab Al Bader, Director General of Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) reminded the attendees that Iraq was viciously attacked by terrorism, leading to the displacement of over five million civilians. During the conference, Çavuşoğlu is expected to announce major infrastructure projects such as hospitals, schools and housing.

A number of donor sides, regional and global organizations are attending the conference. We will always be there. We were there to participate in the coalition (against IS).

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was ready to answer a US call for it to expand its small training mission in Iraq to support reconstruction.

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