Iraq’s high-profile donor conference in Kuwait this week in many ways posed more questions than it answered. All told the conference raised $30bn, a figure given by Kuwaiti officials, which will go toward Baghdad’s planned $88bn project pipeline.

The sums pledged consisted of a hotchpotch of grants, investments, export credits, and other financial instruments making the $30bn figure difficult to verify and its actual allocation unclear. Moreover, such pledges often never materialize. Of the $88bn requested, $47bn was for projects directly related to Islamic State damage, with the remaining $41bn to address investment shortfalls. (CONTINUED - 799 WORDS)