Billions pledged for Iraq's post-ISIL reconstruction


Iraq secured almost $25 billion in the first few hours of the final day of an global donors' conference in Kuwait City, which was still ongoing.

Rebuilding Iraq after three years of war with Islamic State will cost more than $88 billion, with housing a particularly urgent priority, Iraqi officials say.

Speaking in Kuwait at a gathering of the 74-member coalition to defeat ISIS, Tillerson said the war against ISIS is far from over, even in Iraq and Syria.

Iraq is also planning to establish four economic zones, he said.

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As part of its Middle East strategy, Canada is contributing $2 billion over the course of three years toward security, stabilization, and humanitarian and development assistance in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria and their impacts on neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon, Freeland said.

Non-governmental organisations on Monday pledged $330mn but the main commitments are expected to be made by about 70 countries on the final day of the conference today.

Araji said investors in Iraq will find "high risks, but high returns".

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres urged the worldwide community on Wednesday to support Iraq's reconstruction after the devastating war with the Islamic State group.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday urged worldwide partners to keep up the pressure on the Islamic State, warning that the terror group remains a threat despite its loss of territory in its former Mideast strongholds.

The funding will support the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure in Iraq, as well as help internally displaced people in Ninewah and Anbar provinces return home safely and support the clearance of unexploded bombs, mines and booby traps left by IS militants, said Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

"We must continue to enable hospitals to reopen, restore water and electricity services, and get boys and girls back in school". The US is not expected to make a direct government contribution at the conference, however.

The conference also represents a move by key Sunni states to support Shia Iraq as part of a wider regional power play to curb Iran's influence in the area.

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The UN estimates that 8.7 million Iraqi people require humanitarian assistance and nearly 2.6 million remain internally displaced.