After ISIS, Iraq needs $88.2 billion to rebuild

Iraq needs $88.2 billion to rebuild parts of the country in the aftermath of the war against ISIS, according to Iraq’s minister of planning.

“$22.9 billion needed for Iraq in the short term and $65.4 billion over the medium term,” Minister of Planning Salman Al-Jameeli said in a statement released Tuesday during an Iraq donors conference in Kuwait.

The reconstruction and recovery money would go to Iraqi areas seized by ISIS, including the country’s second largest city of Mosul, during the militant group’s conquest that began in June 2014, the statement said.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who joined the donors conference, called on members of the coalition fighting ISIS to help rebuild Iraq.

“If communities in Iraq and Syria cannot return to normal life, we risk the return of conditions that allowed ISIS to take and control vast territory,” Tillerson told a coalition meeting in Kuwait.

He also announced an additional $200 million to support stabilization and early recovery initiatives in Syria.

Seven governorates in northern and eastern Iraq suffered $46 billion in damage, said the minister’s statement. Recovery money would also be needed for the security sector, which requires $14 billion, as well the banking sector, which lost $10 billion in cash assets, according to the minister.

Iraq declared victory over ISIS in December 2017, three years after the group seized large parts of Iraq and Syria and created a self-proclaimed Caliphate.

Hundreds of people are believed to have died in the battles to recapture ISIS-held territory.

In Mosul alone, nearly 900,000 people were displaced from their homes.

During the eight-month battle there that ended last July, more than 500 buildings were obliterated and thousands of others damaged, United Nations satellite imagery showed.

When CNN visited Mosul last month, rescue workers were still pulling the dead from underneath the rubble.

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