Kuwait pledges $2bn for Iraq's reconstruction

Allies promise Iraq aid but amounts fall short of Baghdad's appeal

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.

"Kuwait will earmark $1 billion in loans to Iraq and will commit to another $1 billion as investments", Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah said at the gathering.

He noted that this is not new to HH the Amir, nor to the State of Kuwait, which hosted several conferences of donors and provided support to Arab countries, expressing hope that the conference will succeed in achieving positive results.

The United States and United Nations say that failure to help Iraq rebuild could unravel gains made against Islamic State there, as the conditions that kindled sectarian alienation and bloodshed, allowing jihadists to take over, would remain. Only half of them have returned to their home towns.

"The worldwide community still faces a direct threat by armed groups, which requires opening up new prospects in the global coalition", he told participants in the one-day meeting. The US is not expected to make a direct government contribution at the conference, however.

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

Canada has committed $2 billion over three years for security, stabilization and humanitarian and development assistance in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria and their impacts on neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon.

US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis sent a letter to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation last month calling for a formal North Atlantic Treaty Organisation train-and-advise mission, Reuters reported, part of President Donald Trump's campaign for the alliance to do more against militants.

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