ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The United Nations announced a contract it had signed with the European Union and additional pledges which add up to 67.5 million euros, a little more than $75 million, for reconstruction and various other efforts to rebuild the war-torn city of Mosul and surrounding areas, a year after Iraq's declared victory over the Islamic State (IS).
This will make a total of over 200 million euros ($225.6 million) that the EU has contributed since 2016 to support stabilization and humanitarian efforts undertaken by the UN.
"The Iraqi people have suffered enough, and the country is on the cusp of entering into a renewed phase of state-building," said EU Director for Development Cooperation for Asia, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf and the Pacific Region, Pierre Amilhat.
"Today exemplifies the strong commitment the EU along with its UN partners have in shouldering Iraq in this critical phase. With the territorial defeat of Da'esh [IS], all of us together have a window of opportunity to build an inclusive and accountable country," read a statement, released at the end of a week which saw several observances of the anniversary of the group's military defeat in Iraq.
"This multi-pronged initiative will join the dots between the various reconstruction components, and significantly contribute to the betterment of the Iraqi people."
A delegation that included representatives from the UN and the European Union Mission to Iraq toured a number of EU-funded and UN implemented projects in Mosul on Tuesday to witness "first-hand the clearance, stabilization, rehabilitation and development work undertaken in the northern Iraqi city."
United Nations agencies included in the ongoing efforts in Nineveh Province are the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Yet another is UN-Habitat, which is working in Mosul to rehabilitate damaged houses, repair secondary infrastructure, retrofit public facilities such as schools to promote the environmental responsiveness of buildings and involve youth in redesigning of public open spaces.
On Dec. 7, the UN announced the creation of the Nineveh Human Rights and Justice Network, comprised of lawyers, civil society activists, social workers, and representatives of the Mosul Bar Association that will "examine human rights issues related to the administration of justice, including due process concerns" raised by human rights organizations.
In a separate effort, a UN team will start their fieldwork in early 2019, looking into war crimes committed by IS fighters against Iraq’s Yezidi (Ezidi) minority, the head of the investigation said on Tuesday.
In August 2014, IS carried out mass executions against the Ezidi ethnoreligious minority in northern Iraq. Thousands of people were subjected to atrocities and mass executions for many years at the hands of the extremist group after they overran Sinjar (Shingal), located in Nineveh Province.
On Friday, Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi announced that he will focus on compensating Ezidis religious minority and that the nation's legislative body would assist displaced members of the decimated community in returning home to their areas of origin in Nineveh.
Mosul was liberated on Nov. 14, 2015, by Iraqi and Kurdish forces with the aerial support of international coalition warplanes.