Kuwait pledges $2 billion in loans, investments to Iraq

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Saudi Arabia has pledged $1.5 billion and Qatar has pledged $1 billion to help rebuild Iraq after the war with ISIL.Britain said it would grant Iraq export credit of up to $1 billion per year for a decade.The United States said on February 13 that it was extending a $3 billion credit line but has not provided any direct government assistance.

The fund also says it reached an agreement with Iraq to settle its outstanding dues to the organization, allowing it to fully rejoin it.

The United Arab Emirates pledged $500 million while Germany pledged 350 million euros.The European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the bloc would invest 400 million euros, in addition to individual contributions from member states.International NGOs have so far pledged $330 million in humanitarian assistance.

Some would be turnkey projects, in which contractors would hand over facilities to Iraq, while others would be build-operate-transfer deals in which private firms would receive concessions to operate facilities.

Iraq is seeking $88.2 billion in aid from donors to fund its reconstruction efforts.

Earlier in the day, Kuwait's ruling emir said his oil-rich nation will give $1 billion in loans and $1 billion in direct investments to help rebuild Iraq.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar also said they would allocate $1.5 billion and $1 billion, respectively.

The pledges came on the final day of an worldwide donor conference in Kuwait where Iraqi officials have made the case for foreign investment in what they said would be "a new Iraq".

Iraq aims to secure investments worth $100 billion to rebuild its infrastructure after a three-year war against ISIS.

Among the hardest-hit areas in Iraq is the city of Mosul, which Iraqi forces, aided by a US-led coalition, recaptured from the Islamic State group in July 2017.

The Kuwaiti capital is hosting the second day of an global conference aimed at raising funds for reconstructing Iraq, which is reeling from the Daesh terror group's campaign of death and destruction.

Former Dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait in 1990. It shows Kuwait's deep desire to see its northern neighbour have a stable government after the years of unrest following the 2003 USA -led invasion that toppled Saddam.

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