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 militants who seized almost a third of the country.
Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December, having taken back all the territory captured by the militants in 2014 and 2015. The fighters have also been largely defeated in neighboring Syria.
About $23 billion will be needed in the short term and more than $65 billion in the medium term, the director-general of Iraq’s planning ministry, Qusay Adulfattah, told the conference.
The seven provinces attacked by the militants suffered $46 billion in direct damage, including the destruction of 147,000 housing units, and the security forces took $14 billion in losses. Tens of billions more were lost indirectly through damage to the wider economy and years of lost growth, the planning ministry said.
Iraq has published a list of some 157 projects for which it is seeking investment.
They include rebuilding destroyed facilities such as Mosul airport and new investments to diversify the economy away from crude oil sales, developing transport, agriculture and oil-related industry including petrochemicals and refining.
Rebuilding homes, hospitals, schools, roads, businesses and telecommunications will be key to providing jobs for the young, ending the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people and putting an end to decades of political and sectarian violence.
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