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Mosul residents are taking reconstruction into their own hands

Frustration is beginning to rise

July marked a year since Iraq declared Mosul to be completely liberated from ISIS — but much of the city is still in ruins.

With the fighting over, the world's interest in Mosul has waned, so too have international commitments to help with the massive task of rebuilding.

Read: Inside the killing rooms of Mosul

Iraq says it needs $88 billion to repair all the damage caused during the battle to drive Islamic State fighters from the country. So far, it's only received a fraction of that — and the U.S. has said it won't help with the shortfall.


On the ground, it means there are still neighborhoods that are ghost towns, with block after block of destroyed homes and endless piles of rubble yet to be removed. It’s estimated that the bombardment of Mosul left more than 10 million tons of debris behind.

Read: Trump's “America First” foreign policy just dealt a blow to Iraq's future

For many Mosul residents, the process of trying to rebuild their lives is swamped in dysfunction or bureaucracy — and frustration is beginning to rise.

"The U.S. and all countries who caused this war have a moral duty to reconstruct this area," Mosul resident Bandar al-Akidi told VICE News. "The U.S. paid millions of dollars to buy weapons and missiles to wage war on this region and liberate it by any means. It should equally pay millions of dollars to reconstruct it."

This segment originally aired July 31, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

Social image: People walk in front of the remains of the University of Mosul, which was burned and destroyed during a battle with Islamic State militants, in Mosul, Iraq, April 10, 2017. REUTERS/Marko Djurica