Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

United States pledges $200 million to support anti-IS efforts in Syria

United States pledges $200 million to support anti-IS efforts in Syria

Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait to mull efforts to rebuild Iraq's economy and infrastructure as it emerges from a devastating conflict with Islamic State militants who seized nearly a third of the country before being beaten back.

Although the United States said on Tuesday it was extending a $3 billion credit line to Iraq, it has not provided any direct government assistance.

"Rebuilding Iraq is restoring hope to Iraq, and restoring the stability of Iraq is stabilising the states of the region and the world".

The pledges came on the final day of an worldwide donor conference in Kuwait where Iraqi officials have made the case for foreign investment in what they said would be "a new Iraq".

Iraqi Planning Minister, Salman Al Jumaili, on Monday at the opening ceremony of Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq (KICRI) says Iraq requires 88.2 billion dollars for reconstruction. According to the report, "Iraq: Reconstruction and Investment", released by Kuwait's Chamber of Commerce and Industry in January, more than 200 projects in 10 sectors, including education, health, transportation and agriculture, are ready to receive financing.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also came forward to pledge $5 billion in loans and investment for the reconstruction effort.

Tens of donor countries, including Iran, and around 2,000 organizations have attended the conference to announce financial contributions at the three-day meeting.

Tillerson, in Kuwait for a meeting of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, said the United States was working to settle the Gulf dispute.

The fighters have also been largely defeated in neighboring Syria.

"Regarding the objectives of the conference", Ghasemi said, "the goal of the conference is to bring together various worldwide resources to reconstruct Iraq, especially to rebuild war-stricken areas, and to eradicate the root cause of domestic violent conflicts, and to attract national and foreign investment".

"It will revitalise areas that are at risk of violence, and support broad political participation and inclusive social development", U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

The funding will support the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure in Iraq, as well as help internally displaced people in Ninewah and Anbar provinces return home safely and support the clearance of unexploded bombs, mines and booby traps left by IS militants, said Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

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