New Delhi: India on Wednesday offered to play a “significant” role in the rebuilding of war-torn Iraq, listing petrochemicals, health, education, and infrastructure as areas where Indian companies could pitch in.
Minister of state for external affairs M.J. Akbar, who is representing India at donors and investors conference in Kuwait, also said in his speech on Wednesday that India was willing to react to particular demands on recovery and arrangement of basic supplies like meds required for helping inside uprooted individuals.
Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi in his speech estimated $88 billion for the reconstruction of Iraq, according to a Reuters news report on Tuesday.
Iraq declared victory over Daesh terror group in December, having taken back all the territory the fake jihadist group captured in 2014 and 2015. Daesh terror group has also been largely defeated in neighboring Syria. But the intense fighting has left thousands dead, millions displaced and almost 150,000 houses destroyed.
Rebuilding homes, hospitals, schools, roads, businesses, and telecommunications is seen as the key to providing jobs for the young, reversing displacement and ending years of political and sectarian violence.
“Our focus must be on both Iraq and the Iraqi, and in particular the youth. We must win both the battle and the argument. The answer to terrorism lies in security, prosperity, and reaffirmation of sovereignty. The three sustain each other; any indifference or complacency towards any side of this triangle will make the rehabilitation process infructuous,” Akbar said.
“Rebuilding must proceed in tandem with the longer term sustainable alternative for the region, which has to be a comprehensive political settlement and reconciliation. Divided and partial approaches as adopted by some have historically been at best suboptimal, and at worst, unsuccessful,” Akbar added.
“India has always supported a free, democratic, pluralistic, federal and unified Iraq,” the minister said.
Akbar said India is willing to play a substantive role in major projects in petrochemicals, health, education, infrastructure and other sectors. We will also look at any specific requests for rehabilitation projects and essential supplies like medicines, equipment, etc., as required for internally displaced persons as part of our assistance programme.
“India responded to the urgent needs of Iraq for relief and economic reconstruction both directly and as part of international efforts under UN auspices, In addition, India contributed $10 million towards the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) for investments, reconstruction and development in Iraq,” Akbar said.