UAE offers $500m to support reconstruction of Iraq
The UAE has offered $500 million to help in the reconstruction of Iraq.
Dr Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, announced the UAE’s offer at the ‘Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq, news agency WAM reported.
Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait this week to discuss efforts 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.
Gargash explained that the support includes $250 million via the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development for infrastructure projects, $100 million to help UAE electricity companies fund projects in Iraq, $100 million to support and promote UAE exports, as well as $50 million to support the humanitarian efforts of the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, and its charity projects in the areas most affected by ISIL (Daesh).
He said the UAE has historically leant its support to Iraq, includes a decision to cancel a previous debt worth $7 million in 2008.
Gargash said the UAE has put forward $700 million to support the fight against ISIL, as well as as $60 million to improve humanitarian conditions in the Mosul region.
Iraq declared victory over ISIL in December, having taken back all the territory captured by the militants in 2014 and 2015. The fighters have also been largely defeated in neighbouring Syria.
Rebuilding Iraq after three years of war with ISIL will cost more than $88 billion, with housing a particularly urgent priority, Iraqi officials say.
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 pledged $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.