Reconstruction in Iraq could cost nearly $150 billion covering areas damaged by the war over the past three years, an Iraqi newspaper reported on Thursday.
The World Bank has made a preliminary assessment of rebuilding costs at the request of Iraq's Reconstruction Fund for Areas Affected by Terrorist Operations, the Arabic language daily Al-Mada said, quoting the Fund's chairman Mustafa Al-Hiti.
He said an international creditors' conference to raise funds for reconstruction projects in the Arab OPEC country would be held in Kuwait in January, adding that the two-day meeting would be sponsored by the Iraqi Fund, the World Bank and the Kuwaiti Development Fund.
Hiti said rebuilding costs in Iraq were estimated at around $36 billion in January 2016 and the estimate was revised up to $100 billion by the Iraqi Planning Ministry this year before the liberation of the northern Mosul city.
"Now we believe the costs are much higher considering the substantial damage in cities and other areas and the lost development opportunities in the country….there are also additional sums due to price changes," he said.
"To reach an accurate estimate, we agreed with the World Bank to evaluate damage via satellites…we expect that the World Bank will complete the study in December so it will be presented to the Kuwait conference…after we examined this study and visited most affected areas, we believe the costs are close to $150 billion."
Hiti said the local and foreign private sector would play a major role in rebuilding and that this subject would be a key topic at the Kuwait meeting.
"We hope that meeting would raise sufficient funds for reconstruction of the affected areas…the damage is substantial and such projects cannot be executed in one year…hence we have devised a 10-year rebuilding plan starting in 2018."
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