EU contributes $56.7m to Iraq reconstruction: UNAMI

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SULAIMANI — The European Union has contributed $56.7 million (50 million euros) to Iraq’s recovery effort, according to a statement released by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on Wednesday (February 20).

Of the total, $34.1 million will be delivered according to the EU’s 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for Iraq, while the remaining $22.6 million will be used to reconstruct cultural heritage sites, create jobs, and provide opportunities for Iraqi youth.

The announcement came after a joint EU-UN delegation toured Mosul and the Hamam al Alil displacement camp. The delegation included European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander De Croo, and Deputy Special Representative for Iraq of the United Nations Secretary-General and the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Marta Ruedas.

“[Islamic State] has been defeated on the battleground but we must continue fighting against their poisonous ideology. We must address the root causes of this conflict and respond to the basic needs of all affected Iraqis. Otherwise, me may risk winning the battle on the ground but fail in the peace, with new cycles of violence,” Stylianides told reporters after the visit.

“The European Union will continue to support all aspects of the crisis in Iraq, supporting Iraqi authorities, and showing tangible solidarity with the Iraqi people for as long as it takes,” he added.

“We have already supported a lot of the reconstruction of the health infrastructure, not just in east Mosul but also in west Mosul,” said Ruedas.

“With regard to the return of the displaced population, if they cannot return to their places of origin then some solutions have to be found to make sure that they are able to find their way to normal life outside of the camps. We in the UN will be working with the institutions of the government to make that happen,” she added.

Approximately 1.8 million Iraqis remain displaced, while 6.6 million are expected to require some form of humanitarian assistance during 2019, according to the UNAMI statement.

During a report to the UN Security Council, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert called on the international donor community to contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq.

“The 2019 humanitarian response plan seeks $700 million from donors and includes specialized programming to address protection needs. Of course, humanitarian programming will be implemented alongside recovery and stabilization efforts,” Hennis-Plasschaert said.

“While significant efforts are under way to rebuild infrastructure and restore basic services, it will take many years and billions of dollars to rebuild the country. Iraq will undoubtedly need the continued attention of the international community to make the transition successful and sustainable,” she added.

(NRT Digital Media)