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Iraq Seeks $88 Billion For Reconstruction

Destruction in Mosul's Old City in July 2017

Iraq's reconstruction after almost three years of war with the extremist group Islamic State (IS) will cost $88.2 billion, Iraqi officials told an international conference on February 12.

"Rebuilding Iraq is restoring hope to Iraq, and restoring the stability of Iraq is stabilizing the states of the region and the world," Iraqi Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili told donors and investors gathered in Kuwait for three days to discuss efforts to rebuild the country’s economy and infrastructure.

The United States, which leads an international coalition that provided Iraq with key support in the fight against IS, does not plan to pledge any money at the conference, U.S. officials said.

Iraqi officials said nations could help by acting as guarantors with lenders, allowing Iraq to take out soft loans to fund projects.

Iraq declared victory over the IS group in December after capturing almost all of the territory seized by the militants in 2014 and 2015. The fighting left large swathes of the country destroyed and millions displaced.

Billions of dollars poured into Iraq after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. It was followed by years of insurgency and sectarian violence before the IS group emerged in 2014.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP