Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah mentioned in an international conference on Iraq’s reconstruction on Wednesday that, Kuwait will lend $1 billion to Iraq and commit a further $1 billion of investment to the country.
Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait this week to talk about efforts needed to rebuild Iraq’s economy and infrastructure as it emerges from a devastating conflict with ISIL militants who seized almost a third of the country. Sheikh Sabah said, “Kuwait will earmark $1 billion in loans to Iraq and will commit to another $1 billion as investments in Iraq.”
Iraq declared success over ISIL in December, having taken back all the territory captured by the militants in 2014 and 2015. The fighters have also been largely conquered in neighbouring Syria. Rebuilding Iraq after three years of war with ISIL will need more than $88 billion investment, with housing a particularly urgent priority, Iraqi officials mention.
At the same conference the United States said it was extending a $3 billion credit line but was not providing any direct government assistance. International NGOs have so far promised $330 million in humanitarian assistance.
Iraq has suffered from decades of war and it is striking that it is holding its reconstruction conference in Kuwait, which it invaded in 1990, leading to defeat by a U.S.-led coalition and more than a decade of sanctions. Kuwait will celebrate Liberation Day from Iraq in two weeks and Iraq still pays it reparations.
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