The European Union will fund several projects across the Kurdistan Region governorates as part of a program to support the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) efforts in helping refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
In a joint press conference on Tuesday, the Erbil Governor and the Head of the EU’s Erbil Liaison Office Clarisse Pasztory signed an agreement for projects to be implemented by the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the local administration in the Erbil governorate.
Governor of Erbil Nawzad Hadi said the projects are part of the EU’s program to support countries affected by the Syrian crisis and benefit both refugees and host communities.
He stated the projects will serve the interests of Syrian refugees as well as people of the Kurdistan Region.
Hadi noted that the projects, worth over 200,000 USD, will include roadwork in Erbil, support for the agriculture sector, and assistance for the families of wounded Peshmerga fighters in the province.
Clarisse Pasztory, Head of EU Office in the Kurdistan Region, stated that the EU-funded program, also known as “Qudra” and implemented by GIZ, already established small infrastructure projects in the Duhok, Sulaimani, and Halabja governorates.
Pasztory added that the program would work directly with the Directorate of Health within the Ministry of Peshmerga to assist bereaved Peshmerga families, describing it as “a way to support the heroic fight of the Peshmerga forces against Daesh," using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State (IS).
Until now, 78 million euros have been spent on Iraq as part of the EU’s MADAD program, of which 20 million euros have been spent in Kurdistan Pasztory said, thanking the people of the Kurdistan Region for hosting Syrian refugees.
EU MADAD funds projects in the health, water and electricity sectors in the Sulaimani and Halabja governorates. It also supports road infrastructure, electricity, and agriculture sector projects in the Duhok Governorate according to the KRG’s Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC).
MADAD was founded by the EU in 2014 to address the effects of the war against IS and build the resilience of host communities in neighboring countries to cope with the Syrian refugee crisis.