International help for Iraq

MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - The United States, which led the coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003, has contributed $1.7 billion in humanitarian aid since Islamic State militants overran vast swathes of Iraq’s north. This includes $265 million to help displaced people return home and to restore light infrastructure, according to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

Germany has been the second-largest donor, contributing $46 million in 2017 to the Iraq Humanitarian Fund, a pooled fund managed by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The same year, the UK donated $13 million, with Belgium and the Netherlands donating $6.7 million and $6.5 million.

At a conference in Kuwait in February, the United States said it would provide a $3 billion credit line to Iraq. In total, coalition countries, including Kuwait, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and others, pledged $30 billion to Iraq, mostly in credit facilities and investment over several years.

While the funding is substantial, it falls far short of the $88 billion Baghdad says it needs. Iraqi officials say almost $23 billion is needed for short-term reconstruction and more than $65 billion in the medium term.

Abdel Ameer, the adviser to the Ministry of Municipalities, told Reuters: “We’re now depending mainly on international donor countries and loans, which is a trickle of what we need to rebuild the areas damaged by war. Federal funding is running too slowly, and should we continue at this pace, we would need at least 20 years to rebuild the destroyed areas.”

Editing By Richard Woods