The Government of Australia has contributed an additional USD 13.5 million (AUD 18 million) to the UNDP Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), which finances fast-track initiatives in areas of Iraq liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This brings Australia’s total contribution since 2015 to USD 16.5 million (AUD 22 million).
UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Ms. Marta Ruedas, said:
“The progress being made is clearly visible across the country. Roads are being repaired, hospitals are reopening, electricity is being restored and people are returning to work. More than 60 percent of the almost 6 million people who fled during the conflict have returned home.
“UNDP deeply appreciates the timely and flexible funding provided by the Government of Australia, and while there remains a great deal of work to do, this generous contribution will help liberated areas get back on their feet.”
The Australian Ambassador to Iraq, H.E. Dr. Joanne Loundes, said:
“Australia is committed to the stabilisation and redevelopment of Iraq. On top of restoring essential public services and rehabilitating critical infrastructure in liberated areas, the FFS prioritises projects that meet the needs of the most vulnerable, including women.
“Gender equality and women’s empowerment is a core part of Australia’s foreign policy, economic diplomacy and development work and I welcome the opportunity to support work that directly contributes to this objective.”
At the request of the Government of Iraq, UNDP established the Funding Facility for Stabilization 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 more than 2,000 projects underway in 31 liberated cities and districts, helping local authorities to quickly rehabilitate essential infrastructure. Over 95 percent of all stabilization projects are carried out by local private sector companies, providing a key source of employment for local people.