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Middle East countries pledge billions for Iraq's post-IS reconstruction

Middle East countries pledge billions for Iraq's post-IS reconstruction

PanARMENIAN.Net - Several countries in the Middle East have pledged billions of dollars in aid to help war-torn Iraq in its mission to rebuild the country following a four-year war against the Islamic State, Al Jazeera reports.

During a three-day summit on Iraq's reconstruction that concluded on Wednesday in Kuwait city, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Turkey have pledged to offer loans and direct investments to help rebuild the country.

The emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, had pledged to give $2bn in loans and investments.

Saudi Arabia said it would provide $1.5bn, while Qatar pledged $1bn. Turkey also agreed to donate, vowing to provide $5bn in financial support.

The donations come as various non-governmental organisations pledged $330m during the first day of the summit, which was attended by a total of 67 states and non-state actors.

The conference - organised by Kuwait, Iraq, the European Union, the United Nations and the World Bank - is seeking funding from donors and investors to rebuild Iraq's destroyed homes, schools, and hospitals, and revive its demolished infrastructure and economy.

Iraq's minister of planning Qusai Abdelfattah had said his country needed an estimated $88.2bn to achieve its goals - $22bn of which are needed "immediately", he noted.

In the quest to raise funds, corruption is a major concern for the country, which last year ranked 166 out of 176 nations that were found to be corrupt, according to the findings of the annual Corruption Perceptions Index conducted by Transparency International.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had previously vowed that his government would work towards combatting corruption and bureaucracy in the country.

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