Gulf nations pledge $30bn to Iraq

15 Feb 18

Gulf nations have pledged $30bn to Iraq at a conference this week, which was organised to discuss the reconstruct of the war-torn country’s economy.

The financing was still short of the $88bn sought by the Iraqi government of prime minister Haider al-Abadi to rebuild the country after decades of war.

Although, country’s foreign minister Ibraham Al-Jaafari said the amount offered was “not inconsiderable” and can “make a lot of difference”.

Donors and investors met in Kuwait at the conference on Wednesday to discuss the reconstruction of Iraq’s economy and infrastructure as it recovers from conflict.

The United Arab Emirates pledged investments of $5.5bn for the private sector as well as $500m for reconstruction while Saudi Arabia offered $1.5bn in assistance and Qatar will give $2bn.

The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development – a soft-loan institution - also pledged $1.5bn in financing to Iraq, its director Abdullatif Youssef Al-Hamad told the international conference.

Kuwait’s emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah announced his country would facilitate a $1bn loan for Iraq and a further $1bn of investment.

He said: “Kuwait will earmark $1bn in loans to Iraq and will commit to another $1bn as investments in Iraq.”

Turkey also pledged $5bn in loans and credit easing, Kuwait News Agency said.

Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State in December last year, which had seized almost a third of the country, and took back the territory captured by the militants in 2014 and 2015.

At the conference, the US has also said it would extend a $3bn credit line but it would not provide any direct government assistance.

Since 2014 the US has given the war-torn country $1.7bn in humanitarian aid and $6bn in economic and security assistance, most of which was committed under the Obama administration.

International NGOs have also pledged $330m in humanitarian assistance.

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