Iraq seeks United States dollars 88.2 bln for reconstruction: minister

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Rebuilding Iraq after years of war and economic turmoil will cost $88.2 billion, the director-general of the country's planning ministry, Qusay Abdulfattah, told an global conference in Kuwait on Monday.

The conference was held in Kuwait and included donors and investors, as well as other countries.

The first day of the conference is allocated for Iraq reconstruction programs and worldwide assistance in this regard as well as the development works carried out by the non-governmental organizations in Iraq.

About $22 billion is required in the short term and another $66 billion in the medium term, the director-general of the country's planning ministry, Qusay Adulfattah, told the conference, which lasts until Wednesday.

Nations could help by acting as guarantors with lenders, allowing Iraq to take out soft loans to fund infrastructure projects, Mahdi al-Alaq, the Secretary-General of Iraq's Council of Ministers, told the conference, adding that there were preliminary indications that some states would do so.

The government announced 157 projects in January, including airport repairs and oil development, while calling on companies around the world to invest.

Damages affecting the seven provinces attacked by ISIS total $46 billion with 147,000 housing units destroyed, according to Reuters. It was at war with Iran for most of the 1980s, and its invasion of Kuwait in 1990 led to war with a US -led coalition and more than a decade of worldwide sanctions.

Iraq faces a reconstruction of affected areas and more than 2 million displaced and still without homes, from the original 5 million that left.

Iraq needs some $20 billion now to begin its reconstruction, al-Hiti said.

"Damage reached infrastructure, transport, power and water facilities, as well as crops, in addition to deterioration in educational and health services", he said. A US -led invasion in 2003 toppled dictator Saddam Hussein and was followed by years of occupation, insurgency and sectarian and ethnic conflict, before Islamic State emerged in 2014.

It will cost nearly $90bn (£65.1bn) to rebuild war-torn Iraq after three years of bitter fighting with Islamic State (Isis).

The US, which has been leading a military coalition purportedly fighting Daesh, claims it has played a major role in Iraq's war against terrorists.

Oil-rich Iraq's economy was weakened by years of worldwide sanctions under Saddam Hussein's regime.