15 April 2021
Baghdad — Iraq continues to grapple with the cumulative effects of past conflicts on its development, which has left the country vulnerable to renewed conflict. The socioeconomic shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is a compounding factor that is threatening peace, security, and development in the country as it recovers from the 2014-17 battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Despite the military defeat of ISIL in 2017 Iraq remains at a critical juncture, with a significant risk of backsliding into conflict. At the same time, the Iraqi authorities are still struggling to manage the fallout of the mass mobilization which took place to retake large swathes of the country’s territory from ISIL. Vast numbers of former combatants who voluntarily disengaged in order to resume civilian life are experiencing challenges due to the limited economic opportunities and limited access to essential services in their areas of origin.
The Government of Japan (GoJ) will extend its support to the International Organization for Migration’s efforts to assist vulnerable populations, though a USD 4.2 million grant. With this funding from the GoJ, IOM Iraq will promote stabilization and work to reduce the risk of renewed violence through measures to promote security, socio-economic inclusion, and social cohesion in complex post-conflict situations and fragile communities in Ninewa and Anbar Governorates.
IOM Iraq activities will target individuals who are unable to access durable solutions due to perceived or former association to ISIL, former combatants, and broader communities. In line with the Government of Iraq’s own priorities, a special focus will be placed on youth. Under the project, IOM plans to work closely with the Government of Iraq in support of the National Strategy to Prevent Violent Extremism, as well as with local authorities, community, religious and tribal leaders, the private sector, and other relevant stakeholders.
IOM will also provide assistance to address the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 that have compounded ongoing vulnerabilities across the country, and analyse and respond to resulting instances of increased criminal activity.
“Dedicated efforts are necessary to promote stabilization, reduce the risk of renewed violence and address post-conflict dynamics in fragile communities,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite. “IOM will continue to be grateful for the GoJ’s continued support and partnership in this regard.”
H.E. Mr. SUZUKI Kotaro, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Iraq, stated: “Japan has provided over USD 500 million as humanitarian assistance to the people affected by the crisis since 2014. Additionally, Japan has decided to provide a new assistance package for Iraq amounting to USD 50 million, including this project by IOM.
“I hope that the assistance from the Government and people of Japan will help to promote stabilization and reduce the risk of renewed violence in complex post-conflict and fragile communities in Ninewa and Anbar.
“I trust IOM’s expertise and I firmly believe people in Ninewa and Anbar will realize social cohesion and continue to reject renewed violence.”
The project, “Promoting Location-Specific Inclusion in Iraq” will build upon lessons learned and good practices gathered under the 2020-21 Government of Japan-supported project “Leveraging the Security Development Nexus in Iraq: Support for Community Stabilization in Conflict Affected Communities.”
For more information, please contact IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit, Email: email@example.com
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