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UK, Queen Elizabeth II hit remarkable contribution to Iraq, world charity

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The United Kingdom has become the first donor to a new fund aimed at reviving Iraq’s economy and rebuilding damaged hospitals, schools and infrastructure.

The Department for International Development is allocating £16 million to the Iraq Reform and Reconstruction Fund, run by the World Bank, which was created to help rebuild the country after the destruction caused by the conflict with ISIS.

However, Britain’s aid to Iraq goes far beyond just that.

Iraqi President Barham Saleh met with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in London on Thursday.

Queen for more than 67 years, Elizabeth II holds the title of the longest-reigning ruler in the history of Britain, surpassing Queen Victoria in 2015.

On March 9, 2017, the Queen paid tribute to the Armed Forces and civilians who served their country during the Gulf War and conflicts in Iraq.

The Queen honored the contribution of those who served the nation, in a foreword written for the event's official program in which she paid tribute to those who worked to bring "peace and stability" to Iraq and Afghanistan.

British forces were mainly based in the southern city of Basra after the US invasion in 2003, but after handing over Basra to Iraqi forces in 2007, both Iraq and Britain stressed the need to develop economic relations between the two countries.

British companies were especially well placed to capitalize on investment opportunities in Iraq, given the significant historical and cultural ties that exist between the UK and Iraq.

Some of the British contributions to Iraq is encouraging the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to pass and implement new legislation on hydrocarbons and revenue sharing.

Moreover, the UK has contributed to the development of a strategic vision for the energy sector and encouraging the Iraqi government to play a responsible role in OPEC and other international energy institutions.

The UK also has worked with the European Union on a strategic partnership with Iraq, including encouraging gas exports to the EU.

Britain further supported  increased private sector growth in Iraq, creating many job opportunities, as well as encouraging the Iraqi government to resolve the problems that prohibit business and improving UK visa operations in Iraq.

The UK has also built partnerships between the UK and Iraqi colleges and universities to support improved learning and develop vocational, academic and professional skills.

Since 2014, UK aid in Iraq has provided 4.1 million people with healthcare, 2 million people with safe water and sanitation, 836,500 people with shelter and more than 408,000 people with food.

A research from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has revealed that the Queen is among the world's greatest supporters of charities and has helped many organizations of which she is patron raise over £1.4bn.

The Queen is patron to 600 charities. The wider Royal Family support a grand total of 2,415 charities in Britain, with this figure rising to almost 3,000 worldwide.

At the end of 2016, the queen passed down 25 patronages, including patronage of Save the Children U.K., Animal Health Trust and the Institution of Civil Engineers, to other members of the royal family in order to make sure they would always have royal patrons. At 93 years old, the Queen still holds the role of patron for hundreds of different charities in Britain.
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