Iraq: $660m needed for Priority Stabilization Needs

$660m required to cover priority stabilization needs in areas liberated from ISIL

Support to Iraq's displaced populations through the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and services damaged in the ISIL conflict, livelihoods creation, local capacity development and social cohesion will continue under a three-year extension of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq's flagship programme, the Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS)

The extension, which was endorsed by the Government of Iraq and international partners at the FFS Steering Committee held today in Baghdad, requires $660 million through FFS to cover the remaining priority needs of areas liberated from ISIL - Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa, Salah Al-Din.

The estimate was based on a comprehensive needs assessment undertaken by UNDP this year in consultation with the Government of Iraq, within the mandated sectors and parameters of FFS.

To date, UNDP has mobilized $1.3 billion from 27 donors and partners, and from the Government of Iraq, and has provided more than 10 million Iraqis with improved infrastructure and services, under critical sectors such as electricity, housing, health, water, education, sewerage, livelihoods, municipalities, roads and bridges, capacity support and social cohesion through local community reconciliation activities. It has assisted 4.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return home.

The extended programme will include:

  • A focus on areas that have experienced difficulties in returns;
  • Rehabilitation of infrastructure that supports productive sectors like agriculture and small business;
  • Sustainable livelihood activities that promote employment opportunities;
  • Strengthened mainstreaming of human rights principles, environmental sustainability, conflict sensitivity and gender in all sectors of work;
  • A clear exit strategy in its final year 2023, handing over ownership of the implementation of immediate stabilization activities to the Government of Iraq.

Speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers Secretariat (COMSEC), the Deputy Secretary-General of COMSEC Dr. Farhad Neamattallah Hussain reiterated the Government of Iraq's commitments to supporting the return of displaced Iraqis.

"We welcome the decision to extend FFS, which has made a tremendous impact on stabilizing the areas liberated from ISIL. However, more work remains to be done. There is still an urgent need to deliver on the stabilization needs of displaced communities, and to bolster social cohesion and community reconciliation efforts to ensure people can both rebuild their lives, and peacefully co-exist.

"With assistance from UNDP and the generous support of the international community we are committed to making this happen," added Dr. Hussain.

"Today's extension of FFS marks a critical milestone for Iraqis who are still displaced across the country", says Resident Representative of UNDP Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad.

"We will continue to work alongside the Government of Iraq to create the necessary conditions for safe and dignified returns, with a greater focus on the hardest-to-return populations. The extension of FFS emphasizes the strong partnership between UNDP, the Government of Iraq, and the international community, who, through their generous support since the progamme's inception in 2015, have been instrumental in bringing millions of displaced Iraqis home. We are extremely grateful for their commitment and are proud to continue working together to bring stability, peace, and prosperity to Iraq under this programme extension," she adds.

To guide its programming and deliver on stabilization priorities, FFS will continue to use its proven agile and transparent mechanisms such as special anti-corruption measures, ability to conduct rapid assessments, dedicated service center to fast-track procurement, multi-layered monitoring, and the use of local labor.

FFS was established in 2015 as a mechanism to channel funds for the Iraqi Government's immediate stabilization priorities, to support the return of IDPs from the five liberated governorates. With much appreciation for the continued trust and confidence of partners, UNDP aims to continue delivering at scale to support returns and protect the stabilization gains in the areas liberated from ISIL.

(Source: UN)

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