EU steps up its assistance for Iraq reconstruction

The aim of the package is to foster stabilisation and socio-economic development for the country

Photo: EPA Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development of the European Union Neven Mimica

The European Union has adopted on Tuesday a €56.5m package to promote sustainable job creation and strengthen support to refugees, internally displaced populations and their host communities in Iraq. More specifically, the purpose of the programme is to contribute to the development of the urban areas of Mosul and Basra, and of the rural areas of Nineveh governorate.

This will help returning displaced populations, vulnerable youth and women find income opportunities and obtain services to respond to their essential needs. The assistance will also be used to promote youth entrepreneurship notably via start-up services.

"This new support will create opportunities and jobs, helping some of the most vulnerable communities to get back on their feet and rebuild their lives," EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said, as Iraq is facing enormous challenges to rebuild the areas affected by the conflict and assist people in need.

This sum is part of the €400m pledged by the EU at the Iraq Reconstruction Conference held in Kuwait in February 2018 and it complements the €72.5m package adopted last October to foster stabilisation and socio-economic development through support to basic service delivery and improved living conditions in conflict areas, bringing the total EU development assistance mobilised in favour of Iraq this year to €129m. 

Moreover, the programme also includes a €15m, contribution to the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the central aim of which is to provide a coherent and swift response to the needs arising from the massive displacement and returns caused by both the Syrian and the internal Iraqi crises. This action aims to enhance public service delivery in sectors like education and health. It will enhance access to livelihood opportunities for refugees, internally displaced persons, returnees and their communities. It will also uphold the long-standing Iraqi policy of protection and support of people residing and seeking protection in the country.

The measures are in line with the 2018 EU strategy for Iraq and the Council Conclusions of 19 May 2017 on Iraq as a pilot country for implementing the Humanitarian-Development Nexus, and reaffirm the EU commitments as stated during the Kuwait Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq. The total EU development assistance to Iraq amounts to €309.8 million since the beginning of the crisis.

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