Mr Amilhat said today in Baghdad "The liberation of Mosul and other areas previously occupied by Da'esh is a first step towards peace. The EU is a longstanding partner of your country. This illustrates in tangible terms the commitment we have to assist the authorities of Iraq to reconstruct cities and towns, to make areas safe for the return of those who have had to flee their homes and to allow communities to heal and prosper".
The stabilisation package includes €50.4 million to restore basic services, repair essential public infrastructure, as well as to reactivate economic activity through grants to small businesses. This will be done through the UNDP Funding Facility for Stabilisation, which is working in newly retaken areas in Anbar, Salah al-Din, Kirkuk, Ninewah and Diyala Governorates. Thanks to more than 1,200 projects, over 2.2 million people have been able to return to their homes.
A further €10 million will facilitate the clearance of lands previously contaminated by explosives, by supporting the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS). This will also help creating the conditions for a safe, voluntary and dignified return of more than 3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). In the past year and a half, with the EU playing a key role in coordination, UNMAS has surveyed and cleared more than 1.8 million m² of land in and around Fallujah and around 160 thousand m² in the Anbar Province.
Today's support complements the €197.5 million programme, adopted on 18 September 2017, which addresses the challenges of protracted forced displacement and migration in Asia and the Middle East. In the framework of this programme, €10 million will be allocated to Iraq to improve access to integrated service-delivery and economic opportunities, including access to health and education, jobs and income-generating activities for IDPs and host communities. The programme also includes support to national authorities to develop and implement comprehensive national migration policies, including measures against smuggling and trafficking in human beings and information activities on safe migration practices.
The EU has a long history of cooperation with Iraq, working together in a wide spectrum of fields ranging from political reform and security to education, energy and migration. In the past years, the EU has stood by Iraq as a reliable partner committed to the stability of the country and the region while at the same time promoting human rights and globally respected values such as democracy and rule of law.
The EU has led the international humanitarian and development efforts for the Iraq crisis, responding to the humanitarian crisis and supporting the stability and development in the country.