Japan, IOM Partner to Address Drivers of Instability and Fragility in Displacement and Return Locations in Iraq
Baghdad – Iraq is at a critical juncture, emerging from a brutal conflict with ISIL and a long history of internal conflict, which has resulted in massive displacement and a setback in the country’s economic and social development. Today, Iraq grapples with the cumulative effects of past conflicts on its development, which has left the country vulnerable to the recurrence of conflict.
Earlier this month, IOM and the Government of Japan launched an innovative project that aims to address the drivers of instability and fragility in locations of displacement and return in Iraq. Offering a timely response to the challenges facing Iraq, this project will support the Government of Iraq to tackle the drivers of instability in both the security and development domains, thereby building more resilient communities and improving trust and confidence in government institutions.
In close collaboration with local government authorities and community leaders, IOM will establish community policing forums (CPF) to improve communication and trust between community members and law enforcement agencies on local security and development issues; roll out social cohesion and peacebuilding activities to strengthen local capacity to resolve conflict peacefully; and support small and medium sized enterprises to address the critical lack of job opportunities. A particular focus will be on engaging self-demobilised former combatants who, with the end of active combat with ISIL, are now seeking to re-establish their lives in their areas of origin.
“In the words of UN Secretary General Guterres, prevention of conflict is not merely a priority, but the priority”, said IOM Chief of Mission in Iraq, Gerard Waite. “In many of its key policy documents, the Government of Iraq recognizes the linkages between security and development, which is often referred to as the security-development nexus. This project will support the Government to operationalize this nexus by simultaneously and holistically addressing economic, social and security drivers of fragility in vulnerable communities.”
The project will build on the rich history of cooperation between IOM, the Government of Japan, and the Government of Iraq. In 2018-19, with the support of the Government of Japan, IOM trained local government and civil society partners on ways to mitigate tensions and rebuild relations in communities in areas of return. IOM also partnered with different Iraqi universities to better understand Iraq’s cycle of conflict and violence and identify ways in which the cycle can be broken.
Naofumi Hashimoto, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Iraq said: “Japan has recently decided a new assistance package for Iraq amounting to USD 63 million, including this project as a contribution to achieving a peaceful society and economic development in Iraq under a new approach of integrating security and development initiatives. With this package, the total amount of Japan’s assistance to the people affected by the crisis reaches USD 500 million.”
For more information please contact Sandra Black at IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: email@example.com