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Press Releases, 2/15/2018 | Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Minister Anne-Mari Virolainen to attend the International Conference of Iraq Reconstruction and Development in Kuwait

An International Conference of Iraq Reconstruction and Development will be held in Kuwait from 12 to 14 February.

The World Bank, the UN and the EU have supported the making of reconstruction plans for Iraq which will be published at the conference. Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen will attend the high-level segment of the conference on 14 February.

The wars have caused immense destruction in Iraq and, therefore, also the reconstruction needs are massive. Because of the war against ISIL and earlier conflicts, a large part of the country is in ruins. As a rich oil producing country Iraq is able to do a great deal with its own assets but it also needs external help. As a result of conflicts and the downturn trend in global oil prices, Iraq’s revenues from oil production are only a fraction of what they were before.

Iraq belongs to Europe’s neighbouring areas and its future development will therefore affect also Finland. It is important for Finland that Iraq’s internal situation and security stabilise and democracy will be established and developed further. In addition to reconstruction, Iraq will need help to improve its humanitarian situation, stabilise the areas recaptured from ISIL as soon as possible and carry out mine clearing, among other things.

The conference in Kuwait will place special focus on the ratio of private sector investments in reconstruction. The Finnish Delegation to the conference will consist of, for example, Finnfund and a number of companies. Iraq is a long-standing and traditional business partner for Finland, and the reconstruction process will open significant business opportunities for Finnish companies.

Since 2014, Finland has used close to EUR 18 million from development cooperation appropriations to support Iraq. The support has been allocated for humanitarian aid, stabilisation of the areas recaptured from ISIL and humanitarian mine action.

Inquiries: Juha Kirstilä, Special Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, tel. +358 40 5528 200, and Jussi Nummelin, First Secretary, tel. +358 50 430 2018, Unit for the Middle East and North Africa

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Updated 2/15/2018

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