Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iraq, Anbar a Now Flattened Governorate | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An Iraqi helicopter flies over a soldier in Husaybah, in Anbar province July 22, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

Baghdad- The Iraqi Parliament officially opened, yesterday, all doors for international relief to help rehabilitate and reconstruct infrastructure of cities liberated from ISIS’s upper-hand. The cabinet voted, and granted access to aid organizations to help rebuild the Anbar governorate which is –now officially- an overwhelmingly crushed area.

The cabinet voted a few days before U.N. Secretary General Ban Kimoon, President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim and President of the Islamic Development Bank Ahmed Mohammed Ali had paid a visit to Iraq. The bank leaders announced granting 250 million dollars in financial aid for reinstating stability in freed zones.

MP Liqa al-Wardi said that the Anbar governorate has experienced massive destruction which left over an 80 percent of its infrastructure in ruins. Many bridges were broken, countless citizens’ homes reduced to rubble. Universities, civil services offices and a large number of governmental buildings were destroyed, “reconstruction would cost over 20 billion dollars,” Wardi added.

Iraqi Female MP al-Wardi explained that Iraq’s government is unable to provide the finances for reconstruction while it suffers a deep financial crisis which is taking course amid plummeting oil prices in the international market.

MP al-Wardi said that the governorate will collect data and thorough visual mapping which documents the size of damage done, in order to present them to world countries and international organizations.

Tribal leader in Anbar Sheikh Rafaa’ al-Fahdawi told Asharq Al- Awsat newspaper that the parliament’s portrayal of the humanitarian state-of-affairs of Anbar and Ramadi (capital of Anbar Governorate) only doubles the responsibility on the international community.

Al-Fahdawi is the leader of a council comprising tribes fighting against ISIS in Anbar.

He also mentioned that ISIS has adopted a combat approach in which it would not leave, flee or surrender any stronghold without leaving the site ravaged. Streets previously roamed by ISIS, although freed, are filled with planted mines and war detonation devices, which requires a specialized mission for mine neutralization.
Mine removal missions come at a high price which the government also struggles to cover.