World Bank grants Iraq US$ 350 mn loan to rebuild its infrastructure

Posted on 14th July 2015

Iraq and the World Bank signed a $350 million loan agreement on Sunday (12th July, 2015) to fund emergency reconstruction in towns recaptured from IS militants, newswire Reuters reported.

Baghdad officials said the deal marked the first international help to rebuild areas devastated by war, according to constructionweekonline news reports.

Finance minister Hoshiyar Zebari said around a third of the money would go towards repairing roads and bridges, with a similar amount allocated to restoring electricity networks, water and sewage.

Iraq faces a budget deficit of up to $ 20 billion this year as it grapples with low oil revenues and the heavy cost of war with IS insurgents.

"This is the first direct tangible assistance for the reconstruction and stabilisation efforts by the government to normalise life in the areas liberated from IS," Zebari said.

Sunday's deal granted Iraq a 15-year loan at around 1% interest, with a 5-year grace period.

Iraq has also received pledges of financial support for a government reconstruction fund from the United States, the European Union, Japan and individual European countries, Zebari said, but Sunday's loan was the first to materialise.

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