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14 February 2018, 07:24 | Damon Campbell
Kuwait-based fund pledges 1.5 billion to Iraq
Canada has committed $2 billion over three years for security, stabilization and humanitarian and development assistance in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria and their impacts on neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon.
"Kuwait will earmark $1bn in loans to Iraq and will commit to another $1bn as investments", Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah said at the gathering.
Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait to mull efforts to rebuild Iraq's economy and infrastructure as it emerges from a devastating conflict with Islamic State (IS) group militants who seized nearly a third of the country before being beaten back.
Saudi Arabia pledged $1.5 billion while the Kuwait-based Arab Fund says Iraq will receive $1.5 billion in infrastructure aid in coming years.
It made the announcement on Wednesday at a conference in Kuwait City.
Overall, Iraq is seeking $88.2 billion in aid from donors. Saddam was later toppled by the 2003 US invasion.
Iraq, which still owes Kuwait reparations from the 1991 Gulf War, declared victory over IS in December, having taken back all the territory the militant group captured in 2014 and 2015.
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Iraq invaded oil-rich Kuwait in 1990 under former dictator Saddam Hussein, before it was forced to withdraw by a USA -led military coalition.
"Reconstruction is not just about rebuilding infrastructure-it's about improving people's lives", said United Nations' Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande.
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.
The U.S. alone spent $60 billion over nine years - some $15 million a day - to rebuild Iraq.
Dozens of countries around the world have participated in the conference with the aim to invest and provide aid to the war-torn country. That money would include loans, loan guarantees and insurance devices to encourage American investment in Iraq.
Over 70 countries were in attendance at the meeting, including important players like the United States, the EU, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Germany, among others.
For his part, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi urged all his country's neighbors to contribute.
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