Iraq Neighbors Pledge Billions to Baghdad for IS Group Recovery


The emir of Kuwait pledged $2 billion towards the reconstruction of neighbouring Iraq, at an global donors' conference in Kuwait City on Wednesday. The generous sum still fell short of the $88 billion that were originally requested by the Iraqi government, but reached the target for "immediate assistance" sought by Bagdad. It shows Kuwait's deep desire to see its northern neighbour have a stable government after the years of unrest following the 2003 US -led invasion that toppled Saddam.

Dozens of countries around the world have participated in the conference with the aim to invest and provide aid to the war-torn country. Separately, partners are seeking United States dollars 569 million to provide life-saving assistance to 3.4 million highly vulnerable people across Iraq through the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan.

Qatar, which is embroiled in a diplomatic crisis with a quartet of Arab nations led by Riyadh, pledged $1 billion.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced Ankara's pledge of $5 billion and, without providing further details, said that the money would go to "projects and investments".

The announcement came at an worldwide donor conference held in Kuwait for the reconstruction of Iraq following the war against the ISIL terrorist group.

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Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah made the announcement on Wednesday at a summit seeking donations to help rebuild Iraq after the war against the Islamic State group. "We realize the scale of destruction wrought on Iraq as a result of terrorist organizations' control of some of its lands", Sabah said at the conference. "A prosperous Iraq will be a pillar for development and stability in the region".

Among the hardest-hit areas in Iraq is the city of Mosul, which Iraqi forces, aided by a USA -led coalition, recaptured from the Islamic State group in July 2017.

"After the last three days in Kuwait, I feel hope for a new Iraq that is open for business and prepared to face the next challenge of rebuilding communities while reconstructing schools, roads, bridges, hospitals and public infrastructure". Iraq also is OPEC's second-largest crude producer and home to the world's fifth-largest known reserves, though It has struggled to pay worldwide firms running them.

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