After Liberation, Iraqi Cities Await Reconstruction

Diyala's governor said Nov. 21, “Reconstruction plans for the liberated areas of the [Diyala] province have been ready for implementation for months now and include all sectors. The governorate awaits the disbursement of funds allocated by the government to the reconstruction fund, to initiate construction operations.”

However, as of now, no reconstruction projects have been launched in Diyala or elsewhere, with promises postponed as usual, at a time when the administration of the Diyala province announced Dec. 21 that “the reconstruction plan for liberated areas will be launched in 2016,” without specifying a date.

Iraq is gripped by extremely difficult economic conditions, due to its budget deficit over the past two years and this fiscal year, resulting from low oil prices, the exorbitant cost of defeating IS, management of the tragic conditions suffered by millions of refugees, as well as the ordinary task of providing services to its citizens. In that regard, several countries, including the United States, have promised to back Iraq financially in order to ease its humanitarian crisis. Iraq has yet to receive this support.

Furthermore, international financial institutions have allocated funds to be invested in Iraq once warfare ends there; for instance, on June 26, Asia Frontier Capital established a development fund to support the Iraqi economy in the postwar period.

There are no plans to launch urgent reconstruction projects in liberated areas, either by the Iraqi government or foreign entities. This comes at a time when the tragic circumstances in those areas and the need to economically shield them from the threat of terrorism require the adoption of comprehensive reconstruction projects. Implementing reconstruction projects in liberated areas would have a major effect on Iraq as a whole, by improving its overall strategic economic position and solving the refugee crisis that has weighed heavily on other Iraqi areas, as well as on the Iraqi government.

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