The European Union has contributed an additional US$ 58.96 million (EUR 50 million) to UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), which finances fast-track initiatives to stabilize areas liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
This brings the European Union’s total contribution since 2015 to US$ 73.8 million (EUR 64 million).
Based on priorities identified by the local authorities, FFS helps quickly repair public infrastructure, provides grants to small businesses, boosts the capacity of local government, promotes civil engagement, and provides short-term employment through public works schemes.
UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, said:
“The tasks facing Iraq are enormous. Stabilizing newly liberated areas so people can return home is at the very top of the list of the country’s urgent priorities. We very grateful to the European Union for this very generous contribution–it comes at exactly the right time.”
European Union Ambassador to Iraq, H.E. Ramon Blecua said:
“The EU continues its support in stabilising the liberated areas by improving the political, humanitarian, security and development dimension. 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.
“This package will finance fast-track initiatives and at the same time strengthen the Government’s strategic coordination mechanisms so as to ensure a common approach to clearance of explosive hazards. At this critical juncture, it illustrates very well that EU – a key partner – stands at the side of the Iraqi people and authorities who have shown courage and resilience in their fight against Da’esh.“
At the request of the Government of Iraq, UNDP established the Funding Facility for Stabilization in June 2015 to facilitate the return of displaced Iraqis, lay the groundwork for reconstruction and recovery, and safeguard against the resurgence of violence and extremism.
The Facility currently has more than 1,600 projects underway in 23 liberated cities and districts, helping local authorities to quickly rehabilitate essential infrastructure. More than 95 percent of all stabilization projects are done by the local private sector employing local labour.