KRG minister: Humanitarian donations to Iraq not exceeding $1 billion
The head of the Kurdish delegation to the Kuwait donor conference said the main focus of the event is on investment and humanitarian aid to Iraq. He does not expect Iraq to receive what it is asking for in donations.
KRG Planning Minister Ali Sindi explained that though Iraq has estimated $80 to $100 billion in damages due to the three-year-long ISIS war, “this does not mean that the donor countries will give Iraq this sum at the conference.”
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said Iraq needs $100 billion to rebuild for 157 projects. On Monday, Qusay Adulfattah, the Iraqi director-general in the Ministry of Planning, said about $23 million will be needed for short-term projects, while $65 billion will be required in the medium term.
“Rebuilding Iraq is restoring hope to Iraq, and restoring the stability of Iraq is stabilizing the states of the region and the world,” said Iraq Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili at the Kuwait conference.
Iraq endured $46 billion in direct damage because of ISIS, a Wall Street Journal report published on Tuesday found.
“Rebuilding Iraq is restoring hope to Iraq, and restoring the stability of Iraq is stabilizing the states of the region and the world,” said Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili.
KRG Minister Sindi rejected any projects will be immediately implemented in the conference, but that “what is really expected to happen is to understand the situation of Iraq at this stage.”
He estimated however, that humanitarian donations at the conference might not exceed $1 billion.
NGOs pledged $330 million in humanitarian aid at a parallel NGO conference, Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA reported on Monday.
Bruno Geddo, the UNCHR’s head in Iraq, called for 2-year ‘recovery and resilience’ program ahead of the conference.
Taking into account the KRG’s role in the military defeat of ISIS, sheltering of IDPs and refugees, and the Kurdistan Region being a safe entry point for humanitarians into northern Iraq, Sindi said, the hosts in Kuwait and the international parties keenly received the KRG delegation.
He added they were trying to “have good coordination” with the Iraqi government delegation at the conference.
In addition to Sindi, officials from the Kurdistan Region, including KRG Housing and Reconstruction Minister Darbaz Kosrat Rasul and three governors have 80 proposals in hand, ready for governments and private investors.
The Kurdistan Region is seeking investment in essential services like water, electricity, transportation, roads, health, and higher education at the conference.