Mosul needs billions of dollars to rebuild

Feng Xue
By Feng Xue
May 3, 2017World News

It will take years of repair and billions of dollars, to help the battle-scarred city of Mosul recover. The Iraqi government will struggle to afford it.

Roads, bridges, and the economy all collapsed. The airport, railway station, and university were also destroyed in the long fight to dislodge ISIS terrorists.

Iraqi government forces backed by a U.S.-led coalition have now retaken the eastern half of Mosul.

Regional officials are returning to the city for the first time in 2 1/2 years to survey the damage.

“After Mosul is fully liberated, we need a working plan to restore things to the way they were before June 2014, when Islamic State took over,” said Noureldin Qablan, deputy chairman of local council in Nineveh Province.

The officials are already drawing up plans to rebuild Mosul, though they are still not sure where the money will come from.

For the first six months, the focus would be on restoring security, water, electricity, and fuel, and on the return of those displaced by the war. Then there would be a two-year period of reconstruction and the initiation of a reconciliation process. That would be followed by 30 months of attracting investment and developing the economy.

Some of the early repair work could cost as little as $5,000 a house. But even that would strain the tight budget, which is allocated by the central government in Baghdad.

“Honestly what has been allocated to Nineveh in 2017 was 52 billion Iraqi dinars ($44.5 million), which is a very small sum for a province this size,” said Qablan.

The officials will seek foreign help. They are in talks with the United Nations, international aid groups, and friendly states.

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