Iraqi reconstruction to cost $88 billion

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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.

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 conflict with the hardline Daesh militants who seized nearly one-third of the country. The funding is also meant to help law enforcement and women's participation in rebuilding the community.

Iraq declared victory over the jihadists in December, having taken back all the territory captured by the militants in 2014 and 2015.

However, the secretary-general of Iraq's Council of Ministers Mahdi al-Alaq said nations could it help by acting as guarantors with worldwide lenders.

Participants attend a presentation during the Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq on February 12, 2018, in Kuwait City.

Although the US government was not expected to pledge direct financial aid at the conference, Tillerson said the official USA export credit agency, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), would sign with Iraq's finance ministry on Tuesday a $3 billion memorandum of understanding "that will set a stage for future cooperation". They confirmed the obstacles in Iraq are not restricted to reconstructing the areas affected from the war on terror.

The IS takeover also dealt a heavy blow to Iraq s economy.

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The damage to the housing sector is $16 billion, while damage to electrical power plants and the power sector is $7 billion, according to the assessment.

"Sustainable return is not just about bricks and mortar", Bruno Geddo, UNHCR s representative in Iraq, said in a statement.

He said funds are urgently needed to "restore basic and infrastructure services" in many provinces. One out of four Iraqi children across the country live in poverty in the nation of 37 million people. The World Health Organization called for investment in hospitals and other medical facilities, pointing to more than 14 hospitals and 170 health facilities destroyed.

On Tuesday, the conference will focus on private sector investment while on Wednesday national leaders are expected to announce governmental aid packages.

Meanwhile France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Iraq on Monday to discuss the war-torn country's reconstruction.

The US, which has been leading a military coalition purportedly fighting Daesh, claims it has played a major role in Iraq's war against terrorists.

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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