EU signs Financing Agreement with Iraqi Government for an amount of € 90 million to support socio-economic recovery, stability and socio-economic development of Iraq
20 September 2020 – the European Union (EU), represented by the EU Ambassador to Iraq and the Minister of Planning H.E. Mr Khalid Najim, have today signed a development assistance package of € 90 million.
The package is part of the wider EU response worth € 159 million announced in August 2020, to support Iraq in response to the multiple shocks affecting the country and in particular the COVID-19 pandemic response.
"We are proud to announce the signing of this agreement with the Government of Iraq. The EU is a long-standing partner of Iraq. This new EU funding maintains our commitment to support the government’s efforts in stepping up its engagement on economic recovery and reforms. The actions foreseen in this package will contribute to employment creation, access to basic services and advance on structural reforms such as social protection and the reduction of corruption. They include the opportunity for more than 2500 new jobs and access to services in marginalised urban areas, and the intended reform of the social protection coverage will ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable are better targeted. We hope that this effort will also contribute to mitigating the harsh impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis currently hitting Iraq’’ said Mr Martin Huth, EU Ambassador to Iraq.
Building on existing EU programs in Iraq, the first component of this package, worth € 60 million will address the socio-economic impact of the crisis and foster the creation of employment opportunities, access to basic services for the population and kick starting of the much-awaited social protection reform. The second component, for an amount of € 30 million will support governance, transparency and credibility of the justice system.
This comprehensive package does not only addresses increasing needs related to the COVID-19 crisis, but also aims at assisting the Government of Iraq in restoring trust between Iraqi citizens and their institutions.
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 addressing the Iraq crisis, responding to the humanitarian needs and supporting the stability and development in the country.
About the EU –Team Europe COVID-19 response in Iraq
To fight the COVID-19on a global scale, on 8 April, the EU, its Member States, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development joined efforts and announced more than € 20 billion to partner countries’ efforts in tackling the pandemic.
Through the “Team Europe’’ approach in Iraq, a total of € 159 million will be mobilised in the short-term to support the COVID-19 response in the larger sense. This includes a reorientation of already ongoing activities, as well as new funds to respond to the acute crisis. € 35 million will be dedicated to the immediate humanitarian needs including healthcare, water and sanitation as well as protection, prioritising the most vulnerable populations such as internally displaced people. The remaining € 124 million will address the socio-economic impact of the crisis in Iraq through employment creation - especially for young Iraqis -, small and medium businesses and private sector development, especially in the agri-business sector.