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Iraq seeks $100 billion in aid

Govt officials said that they need the assistance until the oil sector in Iraq is reconstructed.

india Updated: Nov 01, 2006 11:33 IST

Iraq needs around $100 billion in aid to develop its infrastructure, an official has said, as the war-torn nation won new pledges from a donors' meeting in Kuwait.

"We need 100 billion dollars to rebuild our infrastructure. This is an approximate figure for the next five years," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told a news conference on Tuesday without elaborating.

"We need the assistance until the oil sector is reconstructed," Dabbagh said on the sidelines of the Preparatory Meeting for International Compact with Iraq.

Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh told reporters at the end of the meeting that the European Union, Saudi Arabia and the United States had all pledged new assistance.

"Saudi Arabia has expressed willingness to provide one billion dollars in aid (comprising) grants and loans, as well as 500 million dollars in (finance) facilities to Iraqi businessmen," he said.

Iraq is home to some of the world's largest reserves of untapped crude but its ageing pipelines, a favourite target for insurgents, and general insecurity have prevented the country cashing in on valuable oil exports.

Representatives of 14 major donor countries and seven international institutions took part in the one-day Compact meeting which prepared the blueprint for a partnership between Baghdad and the international community.

Saleh said the International Compact with Iraq will be formally launched at a broader meeting in six weeks. The venue of that meeting has yet to be decided.

US Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmit, who led his country's delegation, said the next meeting will be held by mid-December at a ministerial level.

First Published: Nov 01, 2006 11:33 IST