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Global Donors Pledge $30 Billion To Help Rebuild Iraq

"We were hoping for more," Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said.

Donors have pledged $30 billion to help rebuild war-torn Iraq during the final day of an international conference in Kuwait.

The figure announced on February 14 fell short of the $88.2 billion Iraqi officials have said they need, but it would allow Baghdad to begin reconstruction after years of war, culminating with a declared victory over Islamic State (IS) extremists after three years of fighting.

"We were hoping for more," Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari told the AFP news agency.

"We are not disappointed, but the amount was less than expected," he added.

Officials did not break down the pledges, but some countries disclosed their contributions during the conference.

The biggest single pledge came from Turkey, which said it would provide $5 billion in loans and investments to Iraq.

Britain said it would grant Iraq export credit of up to $1 billion a year for a decade, the European Union pledged about $494 million, and Qatar and Saudi Arabia also announced major contributions in credits and donations.

The United States did not pledge any new funds, but U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on February 13 said the U.S. Export-Import Bank was ready to sign a $3 billion memorandum of understanding with Baghdad to "set a stage for future cooperation."

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said his country was prepared to continue the fight against corruption as a way to attract more funds.

"We promise we will never cease fighting corruption," he said.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa