Cost of rebuilding Iraq pegged at more than $88B US

Iraq's infrastructure sustained heavy damage during the fight to push back Islamic State forces

Iraq's infrastructure sustained heavy damage during the fight to push back Islamic State forces

WAR-BATTERED Iraq today sought to attract global investors to rebuild the country after defeating the Islamic State group, offering hundreds of projects and touting extensive legal guarantees.

The rebuilding effort includes Iraq's infrastructure and economy.

"If communities in Iraq and Syria can not return to normal life, we risk the return of conditions that allowed ISIS to take and control vast territory", U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a donors' conference for Iraq hosted by Kuwait.

About $22 billion U.S. will be required in the short term and another $66 billion USA in the medium term, the director general of the country's planning ministry, Qusay Adulfattah, told the conference, without indicating any time frame.

Damages affecting the seven provinces attacked by ISIS total $46 billion with 147,000 housing units destroyed, according to Reuters.

"All told, the Iraq government is seeking about $100 billion in foreign investment for its energy, agricultural and transport sectors", added WSJ. He said there were preliminary indications that some states would do so.

According to the ministry official website, the spokesman underlined that Iran has had no hesitation in supporting the nation and government of Iraq as it has always stood by them in fight against terrorism and will continue to do so in the future.

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World Bank officials joined Iraqi government representatives on today in Kuwait City to seek pledges from more than 2,000 representatives of global firms in attendance.

Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili said during the conference that those ignoring Iraq's pleas for financial help were forsaking the security of the entire Middle East region. Baghdad has said it is determined to tackle the red tape and corruption that hamper investment.

The meeting, which brings together several economic powers, as well as regional and global organisations, will discuss the required contributions to rebuilding Iraq after many years of war and conflict, reports Xinhua news agency.

Iraq reopened to foreign investment after the 2003 invasion but the vast majority of the billions of dollars invested went to increasing its oil and natural gas production.

Araji said that Iraq, which has been either at war or under worldwide sanctions since 1980, is offering projects in nearly every field of the economy - from oil to agriculture. The years of insurgency, sectarian violence and ethnic tensions that followed his overthrow in 2003 helped fuel the emergence of IS, a little more than a decade later.

In an effort to help rebuild war-torn Iraq now that Daesh has been defeated in the country, the Turkish government and businesses want to assume leading roles in the redevelopment of Kirkuk, Mosul, Tal Afar, Baghdad and other cities.

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