The UK has become the first donor to a new fund aimed at reviving Iraq’s economy and rebuilding damaged hospitals, schools and infrastructure.
Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt announced a new aid package that it is hoped will enable Iraqis displaced by conflict to return home and restart their lives.
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 Daesh.
The IRRF will support the Iraqi government’s reconstruction efforts in areas affected by conflict, including the rebuilding of houses, schools, hospitals, factories and roads.
The DfID donation also aims to encourage business-friendly reforms and boost potential for trade with the UK and other international partners.
Growing exports of goods and services from the UK to Iraq reached £0.5bn in 2017, a 10% increase on the year before.
On a visit to the country, Burt also announced further aid to help meet the immediate needs of the 1.8 million people still displaced from their homes within Iraq.
He said: “There is much to be celebrated about Iraq’s progress since the territorial defeat of Daesh in 2017. But there is more to be done to help Iraq develop the strong, stable future, decided on by all Iraqis, that its people deserve.”
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.
Source: Public Finance International