– 2/10/2018 1:24:00 AM20 Number of readings
Kuwait will host an international conference on the reconstruction of Iraq from February 12 to 14, two months after Baghdad announced the “end of the war” against the terrorist organization “Da’ash”.
Three years after the imposition of their control and bloody battles to expel them from about a third of the country, war-ravaged Iraq is betting on international donors, especially the private sector, the AFP news agency said in a report.
Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid al-Jarallah said that “more than 2,000 companies and businessmen” will participate in the conference where Iraqi officials will present their huge project.
Al-Jarallah explained that the first day will be dedicated to the community institutions, while the second day will be allocated entirely to the private sector, while the last day will be the announcement of the financial contributions of the participating countries.
Iraq, OPEC’s second largest oil producer, has already intensified its calls for investors around the world. In particular, he intends to rely on his oil reserves, which have not yet been fully exploited.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos at the end of January, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi was clear that the huge reconstruction project would cost $ 100 billion.
“This is a huge amount of money, and we know very well that we can not fund it with our budget,” which is affected by lower crude oil prices and long war, Abbadi said.
“That’s why we need to call for investments, it’s the only way” to raise a similar sum, which is half of the country’s gross domestic product.
“The mission is enormous for an important reason,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Iraq.
“If everyone is focused on Mosul,” the country’s second largest city, “we should not forget that other provinces such as Anbar, Diyala and Salahuddin” also suffered from wars.
“Housing is the key element because 19 percent of the total destruction of the country has taken place in this sector,” said Irfan Ali, director of the United Nations Housing Program in Iraq. “More than 2.6 million people are still displaced.
More than 26,000 homes, including more than 17,000 in Mosul, have been destroyed or severely damaged, according to UNOSAT.
Hawkins pointed out that at a time when the war was in the north, the south of the country was taking large cuts in the budget, saying, “Some schools receive students for two or three hours” per day.
In order to build, rehabilitate and stimulate “economic growth and services,” Hawkins said, the private sector should be attracted to give Iraqis, who live for about a quarter of them on less than $ 2 a day, access to “health, education, social security and water resources.”
To attract investors from the private sector, Kuwait and the World Bank have made pledges. To reassure the cautious private sector in investing in the country ranked 10th on the global corruption list, a “reconstruction data platform that ensures transparency and accountability” has been developed, Ali said.
Therefore, the priority in Kuwait will be “to develop plans, analyzes and solutions” so that the country can “rebuild its services and way of life”.
Hawkins also noted that, in the conflict-ridden Middle East, it was “to keep Iraq at the top of the agenda of the international community.
But in Baghdad, everyone calls for this “historic event” not to be missed, according to Hawkins, because “investment in services, including education, will now benefit the country in an amazing way, while not doing so would be tragic “He said.
The danger, according to Hawkins, is “the lost generation that can not contribute to the economy or security in Iraq, when it becomes adult.”