The Kingdom of Norway and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a $1.8 million partnership agreement today to support stabilization in newly liberated areas in Iraq.
Norway’s contribution will be channeled through UNDP’s Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization (FFIS), which finances fast-track initiatives in areas retaken from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Stabilization support has already been provided in Tikrit, where more than 155,000 people have returned to their homes and are now rebuilding their lives.
New initiatives in liberated areas in Salah al-Din and Ninewah Governorates will start shortly and preparations are advancing quickly to provide stabilization support in Ramadi, as soon as the city is liberated, and declared free and safe.
During a signing ceremony held in Baghdad, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, said:
“Our aim is to help newly liberated areas return to normalcy as quickly as possible by opening neighbourhoods, promoting civil engagement and helping to jump-start the local economy. Norway’s contribution comes at just the right time, when we are working around-the-clock to be ready for the liberation of Ramadi. We need to act as soon as the city is under Government control.”
Minister Counsellor at the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Mr. Carsten Carlsen, noted:
“Recently, we have been pleased to see progress in the fight against ISIL here in Iraq. But military victories alone cannot restore peace and prosperity to those communities who have suffered under ISIL rule. The international community must help Iraq in meeting the big humanitarian challenges in the wake of the military campaigns.”
UNDP’s Funding Facility provides support for stabilization priorities identified by local authorities. Support includes repair of clinics, police stations, water facilities, power grids, government buildings and access roads.
Short-term employment for local households is provided through public work programmes and small grants are given to businesses to help jump-start local economies.
A special component of the Facility provides micro-credit grants to community organizations working on reconciliation.
(Source: UNDP in Iraq)