MOSUL – The head of the Iraq reconstruction fund called on the international community to join hands to rebuild Mosul, where 80 percent of its buildings and roads were destroyed in the 267-day battle against Islamic State (ISIS) militants.
Despite of the victory over the militants, battles in the past three years have almost damaged the entire city, especially the historic Old City.
The head of the reconstruction fund said the extent of damage is much worse than what they expected, and reconstruction will prove challenging.
“It can be said that more than 50 percent of infrastructure in Mosul has been completely destroyed, which means that buildings need to be torn down and rebuilt. Losses in areas both north and south of the river surpassed 80 percent,” said Mustafa al Hiti, head of Iraq Reconstruction Fund.
As the ISIS militants used a large amount of explosives in the residential areas of Mosul, most infrastructure in these parts have been severely damaged.
Losses in infrastructure could reach around 50 billion U.S. dollars, according to the spokesman of Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office.
“In infrastructure, our losses might be as high as 50 billion U.S. dollars. The Iraqi planning department confirmed that infrastructure losses in areas controlled by extreme groups surpassed 35 billion U.S. dollars. We also have to take personal property into account. We estimate the total amount of losses could reach 50 billion U.S. dollars,” said Saad al-Hadithi, the spokesman of Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office.
Reconstruction work started when the fund was established.
Some Iraqi displaced people have also returned to the eastern bank of the Tigris river to repair their homeland, meanwhile, basic services in the western bank have not been restored yet, therefore rebuilding work has proved challenging.
Iraq needs more international aid to rebuild the western bank, said Al-Hiti. He urged the international coalitions to play a positive role in rebuilding Mosul.
“We have not received as much international aid as we expected. We hope the international community could help us more. Our fund has been calling on the World Bank to grant more loans. And international coalitions should change their role, from wiping out extreme groups to rebuilding Iraq,” said Al-Hiti.