Widespread destruction in western Mosul last month. Photo: Rudaw
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Iraq’s foreign minister has asked the United States to develop a financial plan for the reconstruction of the country after ISIS, similar to a program developed for Western Europe after the Second World War.
In discussions with US Special Presidential Envoy to the coalition Brett McGurk, Ibrahim al-Jaafari stressed the need for “collective support from the international community to contribute to the reconstruction of infrastructure after the defeat of terrorism,” read a statement from the foreign minister’s office published after their meeting.
Jaafari suggested “the adoption of a project similar to the Marshall Plan which contributed to rebuilding Germany after the Second World War. He emphasized activating the strategic framework signed between Baghdad and Washington,” the statement detailed.
The Marshall Plan, passed by Congress in 1948, saw the United States commit funds that eventually totaled over $12 billion (roughly $123 billion today) for the rebuilding of Western Europe ravaged by war.
The plan was adopted out of fear of Communist expansion amid economic hardship in the post-war years.
As a result of the Marshall Plan, Western European industrialization had a rebirth, bringing renewed investment into the region and, at the same time, stimulating the US economy as it created a market for American goods, according to the US Department of State.
Iraq will need billions of dollars to rebuild after ISIS. Large portions of major cities were destroyed in the war, infrastructure was neglected under ISIS, villages are riddled with mines and booby-traps. The deputy governor of Anbar estimated that his province would need $22 billion alone for reconstruction, according the International Peace Institute’s Global Observatory.
McGurk visited Baghdad to discuss security and political developments in the country and the war against ISIS.
He met with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Friday and “pledged ongoing coalition support for Iraqi forces in fight against ISIS and stabilization after ISIS,” he stated on Twitter.