Australia contributes extra $18m to Iraq's reconstruction efforts

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop at the Ministerial Level Conference at the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq. Source: AAP

Australia has increased its contribution to Iraq's reconstruction efforts following the fall of Islamic State.

Australia has chipped in an extra $18 million towards efforts to reconstruct Iraq following the downfall of Islamic State.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is in Kuwait attending an international conference on rebuilding Iraq.

"The widespread destruction of people's homes, hospitals, schools and other critical infrastructure is a significant barrier to Iraqis returning home and resuming their lives," Ms Bishop said.

Iraq's prime minister declared victory over the militant group late last year.

At its peak, the so-called IS caliphate controlled most of eastern Syria and about one-third of Iraq's territory.

But there were still Islamic State fighters in contested or ungoverned regions in Syria, posing a threat.

The UN estimates that 8.7 million Iraqi people require humanitarian assistance and almost 2.6 million remain internally displaced.

Australia's latest financial contribution will go towards the United Nations development program over three years and comes on top of last year's $100 million stabilisation package.

Australia last month brought home its six Super Hornet fighter jets after ceasing air strike operations against IS in Iraq and Syria.

Australian and New Zealand soldiers have trained more than 30,000 Iraqi troops in the fight against Islamic State militants since 2015.

Source AAP - SBS

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