BAGHDAD, MARCH 3 -The Government of Italy has contributed an additional USD 2.7 million (EUR 2.4 million) to UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) supporting communities affected by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), taking its total contribution to USD 12.9 million.
“Iraq was officially declared free from ISIL just over one year ago, but that doesn’t mean efforts to stabilize the country are over,” said Mr. Gerardo Noto, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. for Iraq. “Now is not the time to be scaling back funding for a programme that has helped almost three million displaced Iraqis return home.”
“It’s very heartening to see countries like Italy acknowledging this and reaffirming their commitment to helping communities across Iraq rebuild their lives. We are grateful for this support and we look forward to continue serving the people of Iraq,” added Mr Noto.
“Italy maintains its commitment in supporting Iraq’s stabilization efforts to provide basic services to the newly liberated areas,” said the Italian Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Bruno Pasquino.
This is the fourth contribution from Italy to the FFS: “A testimony of the full engagement of Italy for the people of Iraq, as a qualified partner in various fields, from the provision of services to the rehabilitation of infrastructure and to the capacity-building activity in favour of the Iraqi Security Forces,” added Ambassador Pasquino.
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 3,100 projects underway in 31 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. (@OnuItalia)