U.S. Counting on $2 Billion in Pledges for Iraq at Donor Meeting

  • Funds will go to humanitarian aid, stabilization, sanitation
  • Push to retake Mosul may require $184 million in aid

Iraqi government and counter-terrorism forces arrest men suspected of belonging to the Islamic State group in March 2016.

Photographer: Moadh Al-Dulaimi/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. expects to raise at least $2 billion from governments around the world to help Iraq as it retakes territory from Islamic State militants.

QuickTake Iraq's Brittle Nationhood

Twenty-four countries will take part in a July 20 pledging conference in Washington where financial commitments will be made, with the focus on humanitarian assistance, mine removal and stabilization programs such as jobs, electricity and sanitation, a State Department official who requested anonymity said Monday on a conference call with reporters.

The event, which will be attended by Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, is partly a bid to refocus attention on Iraq’s needs after priorities shifted elsewhere in the years since the U.S.-led Iraq war ended. It’s also an effort to rebuild after the Iraqi army pushed Islamic State out of Fallujah and other cities, and prepares for an offensive on the key northern city of Mosul.

Iraq Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari speaks during a press conference with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Canberra on February 12, 2015.  Baghdad has not requested foreign ground forces to battle the Islamic State group, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jafaari said after US President Barack Obama called for military operations that stop short of a full-scale invasion.    AFP PHOTO/MARK GRAHAM        (Photo credit should read MARK GRAHAM/AFP/Getty Images)
Iraq Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari.
Photographer: Mark Graham/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations says an $861 million humanitarian appeal for Iraq has only been 38 percent fulfilled. About 3.3 million people in Iraq have been displaced since the Islamic State began expanding its territory in Iraq, according to the State Department.

Anticipated Donations

The State Department official said some of the pledges that will be announced at the conference will total more than $100 million and that the U.S will make a substantial contribution itself.

The UN has closed valuable programs, including those related to health and sanitation, due to lack of money, according to a second State Department official on the call.

Wednesday’s conference is also intended to fill the coffers for assistance ahead of the expected push to retake Mosul. The UN said it anticipates needing $184 million to prepare for the Mosul operation, which is likely to lead to significant displacement of residents, according to the first official.

Last week, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the U.S. would deploy an additional 560 troops to Iraq for a logistics base outside Mosul. The U.S. has about 3,500 U.S. troops in the country.

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