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Kuwait to give USD 2 billion in loans, investments for Iraq

AP  |  Kuwait City 

Kuwait's ruling said today that his will give USD 1 billion in loans and USD 1 billion in direct investments to help rebuild Iraq, a stunning donation as only a generation ago invaded the small,

Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah's offer shows the deep interest his nation has in making sure becomes a peaceful, stable country after the war against the Islamic State group and the chaos that followed the 2003 US-led invasion of also still owes reparations from its 1990 invasion.

"This large assembly of international communities that are here today is reflective of the large loss that withstood in facing terrorism," Sheikh Sabah said at a donor's summit at City's Palace.

"Iraq cannot commence the mission of rebuilding itself without support, which is why we are all here today from all around the world, to stand by Iraq's side," he added.

Kuwait's pledge was followed by the promise of a 400 million euro (USD 494 million) donation from the European Union's


However, the country needs far more donations on Wednesday, the last day of an appeal for funding to come forward at the conference. Overall, Iraq is seeking USD 88.2 billion in aid from donors.

Among the hardest-hit areas in Iraq is the city of Mosul, which Iraqi forces, aided by a US-led coalition, recaptured from the Islamic State group in July 2017. Iranian-backed Shiite militias also participated in the operation, fighting in the villages around the city.

The victory came at a steep cost for Mosul, as coalition airstrikes and destroyed homes and government buildings.

Of the money needed, Iraqi officials estimate that USD 17 billion alone needs to go toward rebuilding homes, the biggest single line item offered Monday, on the first day of meetings. The estimates 40,000 homes need to be rebuilt in alone.

The war against the Islamic State group displaced more than 5 million people in Iraq, only half of whom have returned to their hometowns.

However, officials acknowledge a feeling of from international donors, especially after the wars in Iraq and sparked the biggest mass migration since World War II.

Iraq also is OPEC's second-largest and home to the world's fifth-largest known reserves, though It has struggled to pay international firms running them.

The under also seems uninterested in directly investing in Iraq's reconstruction. The US alone spent USD 60 billion over nine years, some USD 15 million a day, to rebuild Iraq.

Around USD 25 billion went to Iraq's military, which disintegrated during the lightning 2014 offensive of the Islamic State group, which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq.

auditors also found massive waste and corruption, fuelling suspicions of Western politicians like Trump who want to scale back foreign aid.

However, the US is expected to offer an over USD 3 billion package for Iraq from the Export-Import Bank of the

The package will be structured so that the initial amount could rise to as much as USD 5 billion over several years. That money would include loans, loan guarantees and to encourage American investment in Iraq Meanwhile, regional tensions may affect how spending comes.

Iranian attended the meeting, skipping a group photograph held before.

Meanwhile, and other Gulf nations remain

suspicious of Iran's influence in Iraq. Iraqi urged all his country's neighbors to contribute.

"We need to rely on all our neighbors and friends to help Iraq invest in its future," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 14 2018. 16:15 IST
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