Foreign Minister Gabriel on the fight against Daesh and German support for Iraq on the occasion of the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition against Daesh and the reconstruction conference for Iraq in Kuwait
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement today (13 February):
With the end of the Daesh caliphate in Iraq, an important milestone has been reached. From now on, the focus will be on stabilisation, reconstruction and the strengthening of state institutions. The voluntary and safe return of internally displaced persons and refugees, reconciliation within Iraq, particularly between Baghdad and Erbil, and a united, stable and democratic society – all this must have priority to prevent terrorism gaining a foothold once again. Germany will continue to stand alongside Iraq as it pursues this path. To achieve these goals, private investment is urgently needed as well as international support. That has been the focus of the talks in Kuwait in the last few days, and it requires not least the implementation of important political reforms.
Creating stability, safeguarding the future and tackling the root causes of displacement remain the central goals of our Iraq policy. Providing training, advice and capacity-building for Iraqi security forces will be crucial. The destruction left by Daesh in Mosul and Raqqa shows that a massive effort is required from the civilian population. That is the only way to create prospects for people to return and live here. Only with a comprehensive foreign policy approach which strengthens civilian structures, encourages economic development and defends the state’s integrity, both internally and in the international arena, will it be possible to shape Iraq’s future. We need to ensure that our stabilisation efforts and our development assistance go hand in hand and do not remain just piecemeal. We will need staying power – and Germany is committed to this task.
In 2017, the Federal Foreign Office provided a total of 290 million euros for the people in Iraq (200 million euros in humanitarian assistance, 90 million euros for stabilisation efforts). It has provided a total of 502 million euros since 2015. Germany is currently the second largest donor after the United States in the area of humanitarian assistance to Iraq. The main focus of humanitarian assistance is still to provide protection and secure accommodation and to meet the most urgent needs, which include basic healthcare as well as drinking water supply and waste water disposal. A particular concern are the people who are returning to their home regions and villages after being forced to flee by Daesh. Investment in humanitarian mine clearance is one important factor here. In 2018 the Federal Foreign Office has already earmarked 43.2 million euros for humanitarian assistance in Iraq.
The goal of the engagement to stabilise Iraq is to strengthen the capacity of government structures to act and to rebuild basic supply infrastructure (water, power, health), for example through the UNDP Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization, in order to enable internal refugees to return home. A 500 million euro financial loan to the Iraqi Government is also intended to drive forward the stabilisation of the country, e.g. by facilitating the rapid reconstruction of transformer stations.