2018-12-10 18:31:00

The European Union's International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) provided Baghdad with its first post-Kuwait stabilization funding that will aid the country in demining, basic services, and economically post-ISIS.


Three agreements were signed between Iraqi Minister of Finance Fuad Hussein and Pierre Amilhat, the head of DEVCO Asia, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf and Pacific in Baghdad on Sunday.

"It's the first part of our commitment towards Iraq for this part knowing that the EU commitment to support Iraq in its reconstruction is a long-term one," Amilhat told reporters of the initial deal worth about $82.5 million.

DEVCO is part of EUROPEAID and works to reduce poverty, ensure sustainable development, and promote democracy peace and security.

Former Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi had appealed for $80-100 billion in post-ISIS reconstruction funds from world leaders at the Kuwait conference in January. He secured around $30 billion in aid — mostly in program specific funding, pledges, and various initiatives.

"It's a commitment to the country not to a particular government but to the country and we are here to support the efforts of the government and the policies of the government in delivering that reconstruction," Amilhat added.

He thanked the planning ministry and said he looks forward to forthcoming discussions at the "technical level." 

Hussein underscored the importance in continuing decentralization, supporting the energy sector and the return of IDPs ... "especially after the removal of mines from these areas and reconstruction of destroyed cities."

ISIS was declared defeated by Baghdad on December 9, 2017.

"We are happy with this partnership and will continue to expand the partnership and work together with the European Union, which is helping the Iraqi people and supporting the Iraqi economy. I thank them for their coming to Baghdad."

Earlier this week, Hussein met with EU Ambassador to Iraq Ramon Blecua to discuss €72.5 in financial agreements between Brussels and Baghdad.

Around 1.9 million Iraqis remain displaced in camps. Many cite a lack of basic services, insecurity, or social disputes for not being ready to return.