The Netherlands has contributed an additional USD 14.2 million (EUR 12 million) to UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), which finances fast-track initiatives to stabilize areas liberated from the ISIS, Reliefweb reported.
The Netherlands is currently the fourth largest donor supporting stabilization work in Iraq, with a total contribution of over USD 42 million.
“Now that combat operations against ISIS are over, the highest priority in the country is stabilizing the areas that have been liberated,” said Lise Grande, UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq. “There are urgent needs everywhere. This contribution from the Netherlands means that we can accelerate progress in the most sensitive areas, including Mosul.”
“Today, in the Old City of Mosul, I have seen firsthand the devastating destruction that ISIS has left behind. But I have also seen how life in other areas is coming back, thanks to the courageous work of the Iraqi people and local authorities, supported by UNDP’s critical rehabilitation projects.” said H.E. Matthijs Wolters, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Iraq, who visited several areas in Nineveh Governorate last week accompanied by senior officials from the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Funding Facility for Stabilization in Iraq and the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), to assess progress achieved on stabilization efforts across the province, particularly in the areas of education and health. “The Netherlands stood with Iraq in its war to uproot ISIS. Today, we also stand with Iraq in peace, as a focus country for Dutch development aid. We are proud to support UNDP’s impressive stabilization effort in Iraq.”
At the request of the Government of Iraq, UNDP established the Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) 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 1,500 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. In Mosul, FFS is implementing 548 projects; 105 electricity, water, sewage, health, education and livelihoods projects are already completed.
“I recall well my own mother’s stories of the devastation of her hometown of Rotterdam, during World War II,” said Ambassador Wolters to a group of graduate students whom he met as part of his visit to the Women’s Education Faculty in Mosul University, drawing parallels with the current destruction of Mosul. “Rotterdam has recovered, and today it is a vibrant city. In the years to come, I am hopeful that Mosul will follow in Rotterdam’s footsteps.”