The Iraqi government is betting on international assistance to rebuild the devastated city of Mosul and ease the humanitarian crisis facing residents.
The city was liberated from ISIS last week after months of military operations.
Iraqi envoy to Kenya Dr Zaid Noori has indicated that just as local and international cooperation was decisive in dislodging ISIS militants from Iraq’s second larges city, the same cooperation is vital in rebuilding Mosul and restoring essential services to residents.
“Iraq has made major sacrifices on behalf of humanity in fighting ISIS which is a grave threat not only to Iraq but to the world.
Our victory in Mosul is a victory for the whole world,” he said in Nairobi, during a ceremony to mark to recapturing of the city from ISIS.
According to experts, it is estimated that billions of dollars are needed to rebuild vital infrastructure including hospitals, homes and schools for least 3 million residents, most of whom were displaced after the ISIS takeover in mid 2014.
The nine-month military operation to root out ISIS left the historical city in utter ruins as thousands of Iraqi forces took on the militants while trying to avoid casualties among the estimated 1 million civilians who were still trapped there. “A major international donors’ conference to pledge funding for Mosul’s reconstruction is expected in the coming weeks. We hope that enough funds will be raised by the international community,” the envoy said.
The diplomat also called for continued international cooperation in tackling international terrorism including their financiers and sympathisers across the globe.
He said the defeat of ISIS in Mosul does not signify an end to the war of terror in the country and the region.
“ISIS has been vanquished in Mosul and denied a safe haven for recruitment, training and fundraising, but they still pose a grave danger to Iraq and the world.
That is why international cooperation against terrorism should be deepened,” he said.
Iraqi forces are still battling ISIS militants in some pockets of Northern Iraq where they are still holding out in at least five small towns.
Reconstruction and stability
Many sympathisers of the groups are believed to be in Iraq and beyond and may be planning attacks. The envoy also called for international support in recovering the huge amounts of Iraqi historical and cultural artefacts that were plundered by ISIS in Mosul and smuggled out of the country for sale in the lucrative black markets. Some of the artefacts are more than a thousand years old. Much of the old city of Mosul that contained historical buildings now lie in ruins.
“So far, cooperation has been good since we receive at least 10 to 15 artefacts from abroad almost every week.
Some artefacts were found as far as Latin America. We hope that cooperation will be enhanced to accelerate their return and preservation,” he said.
On the 10th of July 2017, Iraqi Prime minister, Dr Haider Al-Abbadi, who is also the chief of armed forces, officially announced from the heart of Mosul the victory against ISIS. “We have a mission ahead of us, which is reconstruction and stability. To achieve that mission, we need to be united as we were united during the fight. Victory was granted to us by the Lord Almighty,” he said.
Iraqi foreign minister Dr Ibrahim Al-Eshaiker Al-Jaafari said that victory against ISIS in Mosul would not be complete until the millions of people who were displaced from the city return to their home again, live in security and access services.
The envoy said that Iraq is in the process of strengthening its response to terrorism including putting in place appropriate laws, challenging the warped ideology of ISIS, addressing unemployment and vulnerabilities of the youth.