Iraq Requires $88.2bn For Reconstruction - Minister

Iraq Requires $88.2bn For Reconstruction - Minister

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.

Pledges were still expected to fall short of the level desired.

Iraq's public finances remain dependent on oil and the government is also trying to modernise an economy that has long suffered from corruption and bureaucracy.

"Regarding the objectives of the conference", Ghasemi said, "the goal of the conference is to bring together various global resources to reconstruct Iraq, especially to rebuild war-stricken areas, and to eradicate the root cause of domestic violent conflicts, and to attract national and foreign investment".

Tens of donor countries, including Iran, and around 2,000 organizations have attended the conference to announce financial contributions at the three-day meeting. The aim is to attract and absorb private sector foreign investors.

The emir of Kuwait pledged $2 billion towards the reconstruction of neighbouring Iraq, at an worldwide donors' conference in Kuwait City on Wednesday.

The Kuwaiti summit brought together NGO's and countries alike to negotiate an assistance package that would help Iraq rebuild itself after 15 years of armed conflict, dating back to the 2003 U.S. invasion and culminating with the recent devastation inflicted by the "Islamic State" insurgency.

Food stamp recipients could see fresh food replaced with boxes
The White House said the plan would save the US almost $130 billion over 10 years, and reduce the potential for EBT fraud. The government's proposed program would apply to households that receive more than $90 in food stamp benefits .

The war against Daesh displaced more than 5 million people.

Saudi Arabia said it would provide $1.5bn, while Qatar pledged $1bn.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had previously vowed that his government would work towards combatting corruption and bureaucracy in the country.

"It was a bloody and tough war, our homes were destroyed, schools devastated, streets turned into battlefields, we tolerated this because not only were we fighting for Iraq but for all humanity", he said.

At the same time, Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was ready to answer a United States call for it to expand its small training mission in Iraq to support reconstruction.

It will also help law enforcement authorities and promote women's participation in rebuilding and reconciliation efforts.

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