Kuwait urges broad participation in reconstruction of Iraq

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U.S. officials said the United States, which occupied Iraq from 2003-2011 and now leads an global coalition that provided air support against ISIS, does not plan to pledge funds at the Kuwait conference.

However, officials acknowledge a feeling of fatigue from global donors, especially after the wars in Iraq and Syria sparked the biggest mass migration since World War II.

And now Iraq, viewed by investors as the 10th most corrupt country in the world, according to Transparency International, is asking for some $88bn to rebuild.

About $23 billion will be needed in the short term and more than $65 billion in the medium term, the director general of Iraq's Planning Ministry, Qusay Adulfattah.

Kuwait announced $330 million had been pledged Monday for Iraq which will go to more than 4 million children in need of humanitarian assistance.

Baghdad declared victory against IS in December, after Iraqi forces, backed by a US-led coalition, regained control of the large parts of the country seized by the jihadist group in mid-2014.

Iraq has introduced a raft of measures in a bid to provide an investment-friendly environment, including administrative and financial reforms, he said.

Officials said housing was an urgent priority - the war damaged some 138,000 housing units, of which half had been completely destroyed.

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Tuesday's announcement is part of the government's Middle East strategy which includes a contribution of $2 billion over three years which is meant to go toward security, stabilization and humanitarian assistance in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria and their impacts on Jordan and Lebanon. He said there were preliminary indications that some states would do so.

Among the hardest-hit areas is Mosul, which Iraqi forces, aided by Iranian-backed Shiite militias and a US -led coalition, recaptured in July 2017.

A USA -led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein and was followed by years of insurgency, sectarian bloodletting between Sunnis and Shi'ites, as well as ethnic tensions between the Arabs and Kurds, all before ISIL emerged in 2014.

"When the costs of improving governance, upgrading oil and gas infrastructure and other "recovery" expenses are factored in, the needs of the largely Sunni areas rise to $88.2 billion", reported the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), citing a new assessment by experts at the World Bank and the Iraqi government.

The US, the largest backer in the worldwide coalition against Isis, has no plans to pledge any cash in this conference, American officials told Reuters.

Al Jazeera's Sami Zeidan reports from Kuwait.

This funding also helps internally displaced people in Iraq return home safely and supports the clearance of explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices in areas newly liberated from Daesh, states the release.

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