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Fighting Daesh in Iraq left $90b in damage

Country pinning hopes on reconstruction conference in Kuwait next week

Gulf News

Manama: Iraq has incurred losses of around $90 billion in the three-year war against Daesh, a senior Iraqi official has said.

Mahdi Al Allaq, Secretary-General of the Iraqi Cabinet, said he based the figures on field studies carried out by the ministry of planning.

The ministry added that around $47 billion were also lost in the damages to the country’s infrastructure and economic facilities during the 1,200-day war that technically ended in July 2017, Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) reported on Monday.

Al Allaq told the agency that his country was pinning its hopes on financial support from the International Conference For Reconstruction of Iraq, to be hosted by Kuwait on February 12.

Nineveh province was the worst hit on all levels, and Iraq will detail all the losses before donors, Al Allaq added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi on July 10 last year officially announced the liberation of Mosul, which had been ruled by Daesh since June 2014.

On December 9, 2017, Al Abadi announced the liberation of all Iraqi territory from Daesh.

In his statements to Kuna, Al Allaq said Iraq was trying to limit the damage by engaging in a swift recovery plan through small projects to rehabilitate destroyed cities.

The projects include de-mining, re-operating water and power generators, and reopening undamaged schools and hospitals.

Such projects can be implemented with less cash, and faster than big ones that require huge funds, he said.

Iraq has, so far, received $500-600 million in financial aid from all over the world, in addition to what has been allocated from the country’s budget, he added.

According to a report by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the number of displaced people who returned home by the end of 2017 was about 2.8 million, while 2.9 million Iraqis are still in camps for the internally displaced even though the war is over.

The report, published last December, also underlined that damage was most acute in northern Iraq.

However, almost one third of the displaced persons have decided to return.

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