The Government of Japan is supporting the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Iraq's continued efforts to leverage the security-development nexus in Iraq, providing IOM with a further USD 3.63 million in funding for 2020-21.
Iraq is grappling with the cumulative effects of past conflicts on its development, which has left the country vulnerable to renewed conflict. Now, once again, Iraq is facing concurrent crises which threaten its security and development: the COVID-19 outbreak; the collapse in global oil prices, on which the Iraqi economy heavily depends; and political deadlock which has left the country with a caretaker government since December 2019.
"The turbulence that has hit Iraq over the past six months illustrates that there is still a critical need to address economic, social, and security drivers of instability in vulnerable communities to prevent the country from backsliding into conflict," said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission, Gerard Waite. "With the Government of Japan's support, IOM continues to leverage the security-development nexus to break the cycle of conflict."
With this support from the Government of Japan, IOM Iraq will support the Government of Iraq in leveraging the Security-Development Nexus (SDN) to promote stabilization in some of Iraq's most vulnerable communities. IOM will place a particular focus on supporting the socio-economic reintegration of self-demobilized former combatants who are seeking to re-establish their lives in areas of origin.
"Japan has recently decided to provide a new assistance package for Iraq amounting to USD 41 million, including this project to reinforce the Security-Development Nexus," said H.E. Naofumi Hashimoto (pictured), Ambassador of Japan to Iraq. "With this package, the total amount of Japan's assistance to the people affected by the crisis has reached USD 540 million since 2014."
"Years of conflict have had an impact on Iraq's economic and social development, while social and economic decline has been a significant destabilizing factor. A holistic approach is needed in the security and development domains," he added.
The project, "Leveraging the Security Development Nexus in Iraq: Support for Community Stabilization in Conflict Affected Communities", will build upon lessons learned and good practices gathered under the 2019-20 GoJ-supported pilot project "Supporting the Security Development Nexus in Iraq".
Under that project, over 8,500 individuals were reached with social cohesion; mediation; peacebuilding; mental health and psychosocial support activities or took part in training sessions. Twenty-eight small and medium enterprises in Tel Afar and Najaf received financial support, while 134 people received individual livelihood support. Five new Community Policing Forums were established by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) with IOM Iraq's assistance - three in Ninewa, and two in Najaf.
In addition to social cohesion, mental health and psychosocial support, small and medium enterprise and livelihood support, IOM Iraq's initiatives in support of the SDN will focus on establishing and enhancing Community Policing Forums, alongside the MOI, to improve communication and trust between community members and law enforcement actors.