Iraqi reconstruction to cost $88 billion

Kurdistan hopes to get a fair share during the Reconstruction Conference in Kuwait

The three-day meeting, which brings together several economic powers, as well as regional and global organizations, will touch upon needed contributions to rebuilding Iraq after many years of war and conflict that ripped through various parts of the country.

'The Kuwait Conference for Iraq this week is an opportunity for world leaders to show that we are willing to invest in children - and through investing in children, that we are willing to invest in rebuilding a stable Iraq'.

Baghdad declared victory against IS in December, after nearly three years of war against the jihadist group that left large swathes of the country destroyed and millions displaced.

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

"Rebuilding Iraq is restoring hope to Iraq, and restoring the stability of Iraq is stabilizing the states of the region and the world", said Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili, adding that it also fell on the global community to aid reconstruction.

Seoul seeks communication, lower military tension ahead of possible North Korea summit
North Korea is calling for the exercises, which involve rehearsing attacks on the regime, to be canceled outright. Pence had arrived in South Korea for the opening of the Olympics with a clear intention to isolate North Korea.

The Iraqi National Investment Commission (NIC) last week published a list of 157 projects it will seek investment for at the 12-14 February International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq, estimated to cost about $100bn in total.

Nations could help by acting as guarantors with lenders, allowing Iraq to take out soft loans to fund infrastructure projects, Mahdi al-Alaq, secretary general of Iraq's Council of Ministers, told the conference.

Officials said housing was an urgent priority - the war damaged some 138,000 housing units, of which half had been completely destroyed. The fighting left large swathes of the country destroyed and millions displaced. However, the U.S. provided Iraq with over $600 million in humanitarian funding for the fiscal year of 2017, according to U.S. Aid.

"But what we have accomplished is less than one per cent of what Iraq needs", Hiti said. It was at war with Iran for most of the 1980s, and its invasion of Kuwait in 1990 led to war with a USA -led coalition and more than a decade of global sanctions.

Billions of dollars poured into Iraq after the 2003 USA -led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.

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