Baghdad — With support from the European Union, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have partnered to support the Government of Iraq in developing its border management capacity. The joint project, “Enhancing the Capacity of the Government of Iraq at Trebil Border Crossing Point” will focus on improving security and the cross-border movement of people and goods, while revitalising cross-border trade and the local economy.
“The Government of Iraq has identified the stability of border crossing points as a priority to create the conditions for lasting security, following the defeat of ISIL in 2017,” said EU Ambassador to Iraq Martin Huth. “The EU is proud to support these efforts; in addition to the security component, strengthened borders and streamlined border processes can also promote economic growth.”
Years of conflict have affected the oil sector, the main pillar of Iraq’s economy, leading to the closure of land routes into Jordan and Syria and a drop in regional exports. The subsequent economic decline and loss of financial opportunities have become major sources of frustration and tension between communities and, in particular, among youth — who are more at-risk of being recruited by armed groups or taking part in criminal activities, including transnational organized crime, to meet their financial needs.
Fluid trade and movement across borders can boost the economy and expand job opportunities by diversifying national revenue streams — through this project IOM Iraq and UNODC will also rehabilitate the Trebil Border Crossing Point (BCP), the only official entry point with Jordan and a strategic port of entry for Jordan’s exports to Iraq. Trebil BCP was closed by Iraqi authorities in July 2015 to prevent militants from imposing taxes on passing cargo trucks. Oil exports from Iraq, a major source of energy supply for the Jordanian market, were severely impacted, which led to the closure of hundreds of Jordanian factories and companies and caused unemployment rates to increase in both countries.
Since 2018, the EU has been supporting IOM Iraq and UNODC’s efforts to strengthen the Karamah BCP on the Jordanian side. To increase the flow of goods and traffic, and support the agreements made between the two countries, investments must also be made on the Iraqi side of the border. Strengthening the Trebil border point is timely, as Iraq is making plans to reconstruct a dry channel to connect with the Red Sea and Europe, opening the country to more opportunities and sources of economic growth.
In accordance with the needs of the Government, IOM Iraq and UNODC will implement key actions at the Trebil border point including infrastructure rehabilitation, provision of specialised technical equipment and software, tailored training and facilitating cross border discussions towards supporting the GoI to better manage and promote safe, orderly and regular migration of people and movement of goods between Iraq and Jordan.
For more information, please contact:
IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
UNODC, Email: email@example.com
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