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Planning minister: Iraq needs $100 billion for post-IS reconstruction

Iraqi Minister of Planning Salman al-Jumaili spoke with Al-Monitor about rebuilding the liberated areas and the economic and social challenges the country faces.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (C) Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi (2nd-L) Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili (L) Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari (2nd-R) and Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Muhammad Shia al-Sudani pose for picture at the secretary general office during the Annual UN General Assembly on September 30, 2015 in New York.    AFP PHOTO/Kena Betancur        (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraqi Minister of Planning Salman al-Jumaili, in an interview with Al-Monitor from his office in Baghdad, said that his country will require a massive amount of funds to rebuild the areas liberated from Islamic State (IS) control. While he noted that it was too early to arrive at a precise estimate, he estimated the amount would be around $100 billion, adding that this figure “includes all the areas that were damaged during the presence of [IS], either by direct occupation or due to terrorist acts.”

Jumaili also addressed poverty in the country and methods by which the government is tackling it. While the minister said poverty rates had been on the decline leading into 2014, the rise of IS shifted this and poverty increased, particularly in Ninevah, Salahuddin and Anbar provinces. The minister also commented on the current financial crisis, saying that while the fact that the country will recover “is a given. … The question is how long it will take to get over such a tough, deep and complicated crisis.”

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