UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq Lise Grande and Jobst von Kirchmann, Head of Unit for International Cooperation and Development of Middle East, Central Asia and Pacific, EC sign the agreement to work together on Iraq stabilization. Photo: Lindsay Mackenzie/UNDP Iraq
The European Union (EU) has contributed around US$14.8 million (€14 million) to UNDP’s Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization (FFIS), which finances fast-track initiatives in areas liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Based on priorities identified by the Government of Iraq and local authorities, FFIS helps to quickly repair public infrastructure, provides grants to small businesses, boosts the capacity of local government, promotes civil engagement and community reconciliation, and provides short-term employment through public works schemes.
UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, said: “This new contribution is going to make a very big difference. More than 1.5 million Iraqis have returned to their homes in newly liberated areas, and hundreds of thousands more are likely to in the weeks and months ahead. Once ISIL is defeated in Iraq, we expect that the three million Iraqis who have been forced to flee their homes will be returning to their communities. There is a lot to do in these cities and districts and with this contribution, FFIS will be able to rapidly expand its work.”
The Head of Unit for International Cooperation and Development of Middle East, Central Asia and Pacific at the European Commission, Mr. Jobst von Kirchmann, said: “It is important to quickly support Iraqis who have lived under Daesh’s control and terror. The EU support will help them to return home as soon as possible, live a dignified life and start building a better future for themselves.”
The European Union Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Patrick Simonnet, said: “The EU reaffirms its continued commitment to support the Government of Iraq’s stabilization efforts. As the Mosul operation continues, the immediate and successful stabilization of liberated areas is a high priority as a precondition for the voluntary and safe return of internally displaced people, and a basis for reconciliation at the local and national level.”
Established in June 2015, FFIS is working in newly liberated areas in Anbar, Salah al-Din, Ninewah and Diyala Governorates. Most recently, work has started in Mosul, where the Facility already has more than 100 projects underway, including short-term employment opportunities for thousands of people to clean and upgrade key public spaces, buildings, and roads