Donors pledge $30 bil­lion to re­build Iraq af­ter war with IS

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - OPINION -

KUWAIT CITY » In­ter­na­tional donors pledged $30 bil­lion to help re­build Iraq af­ter the war against the Is­lamic State group, Kuwait an­nounced Wed­nes­day, over­com­ing Western doubts and donor fa­tigue over Mi­dle East crises to help the bat­tle-rav­aged na­tion.

While fall­ing short of an es­ti­mated $88.2 bil­lion needed to re­build Iraq, it eas­ily sur­passed the $20 bil­lion Iraqi of­fi­cials ini­tially said they needed to be­gin their dif­fi­cult work. While much of the larger do­na­tions came in the form of loans, Iraq re­mains an oil-rich na­tion, and such debts can be for­given by the coun­tries and in­sti­tu­tions of­fer­ing them.

The pledges, if fol­lowed through with fund­ing, could give Iraq a chance to dig it­self out of the rub­ble left by the Is­lamic State group and the chaos that fol­lowed the 2003 U.S.-led in­va­sion that top­pled dic­ta­tor Sad­dam Hus­sein.

Still, much re­mains un­cer­tain for Iraq and the greater Mid­dle East.

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