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Australia hands Iraq $18m for rebuilding

14 February 2018

"Today's announcement will contribute to the reconstruction of critical services in areas that have been liberated from Daesh and will concretely encourage women's empowerment in Iraq by promoting their participation in reconciliation efforts and advancing the economic involvement of women in their communities", Freeland said in a statement, referring to Islamic State by its Arabic acronym.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday described the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq as far from complete and announced $200 million in new USA aid to stabilize war-torn communities so residents can return home.

At the same time, Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was ready to answer a USA call for it to expand its small training mission in Iraq to support reconstruction.

Speaking at a conference on reconstruction of the war-torn country, he also said Iraq planned to boost its crude oil production capacity to 7 million barrels per day by 2022, from 5 million bpd at present.

War-battered Iraq sought yesterday to attract worldwide investors to rebuild the country, offering hundreds of projects and touting extensive legal guarantees.

Overall, Iraq is seeking $88.2 billion in aid from donors.

Saudi Arabia has pledged $1.5 billion to help rebuild Iraq after the war with the Islamic State group.

Australia hands Iraq $18m for rebuilding
Australia hands Iraq $18m for rebuilding

"This large assembly of global communities that are here today is reflective of the large loss that Iraq withstood in facing terrorism", Sheikh Sabah said at a donor's summit at Kuwait City's Bayan Palace.

However, the country needs far more donations on Wednesday, the last day of an appeal for funding to come forward at the Kuwait conference.

The Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mahmoud Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, also said that his country is committed to supporting reconstruction of Iraq, pledging around $1 billion.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's government is hoping the worldwide community will follow up the end of major combat against IS with concrete financial support for reconstruction.

Iraq invaded oil-rich Kuwait in 1990 under former dictator Saddam Hussein, before it was forced to withdraw by a US -led military coalition.

Iraq was shattered following the 2003 USA invasion and the resulting occupation and civil war.

Australia hands Iraq $18m for rebuilding