EU increases Iraq stabilisation efforts13/10/17Defence
The European Commission has adopted a €60m stabilisation package to support Iraq after the liberation of areas held by so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS).
With the country still facing humanitarian, security, stabilisation and reconciliation challenges, the new funding comes in addition to EU humanitarian aid in the country and other forms of financial assistance that now total over €608m since the beginning of the crisis.
EU High Representative and Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “At this important juncture in Iraq history, we stand at the side of the Iraqi people and authorities who have shown courage and resilience in their fight against [IS]. Today more than ever, the EU is present to assist them …
“We are and will continue to be active on the political, humanitarian, security and development sides to help stabilise the liberated areas. This is a pre-condition for reconciliation, for the return of the many internally displaced who are eager to come back and for the longer-term stability in Iraq.”
Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development Neven Mimica added: “The liberation of Mosul and other areas previously occupied by [IS] is a first step towards peace. The EU has been supporting the needs of millions of Iraqis and will not stop there. They can also count on EU assistance for the further stabilisation and development efforts of their country.”
The stabilisation package includes €50m to restore basic services and repair vital public infrastructure, as well as to reactivate the economy through grants to small businesses.
Thanks to more than 1,200 projects, over 2.2 million people have been able to return to their homes.
A further €10m will continue to facilitate the clearance of landmines.