The Netherlands Foreign Trade Minister, Sigrid Kaag, recently visited Kurdistan, Iraq and Jordan in a move to push rehabilitation efforts in the wake of Islamic State conflict. Primarily they will be focusing on the city of Mosul, further Peshmerga military advisory work and other humanitarian aid programs. Kaag addressed Netherlands press stating that, “It is of the utmost importance to restore or strengthen stability here and in other places destroyed by ISIS. Giving people the prospect of a brighter future is essential because their property and livelihoods lie in ruins.” According to Kaag, the Dutch government has promised to donate $23 million dollars in an effort to repair Mosul’s infrastructure and social dynamics alongside Kurdistan’s military contributions. As far as infrastructure goes, the focus will be on water sources, electricity, public education, and other essential services.
The funds are being donated into the UNDP Funding Facility for Stabilization, this will ensure that the regions with the greater need for it will be taken care of first. Previously the Netherlands contributed $43 million to aid Mosul residents and the rebuilding efforts in the city. Some of those funds were used to cover the salaries of workers who were tasked with clearing debris since the city had suffered great amounts of damage during the siege.
Minister Kaag also attended a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi alongside several human rights activists. She was adamant about economic reform being a top priority in the wake of the Islamic State conflict along with military support in relation to security efforts. Presently the Dutch military is already heavy involved in anti-Islamic State training for Kurdish and Iraqi security forces, what has been labeled the Capacity Building Mission Iraq (CBMI).
Kaag stated that,
You are carrying out a vital task that is contributing to peace, security, stability and the prospects that are so badly needed here. The war in Syria and the fight against ISIS have had a devastating impact here. That’s why we’re working on humanitarian aid and reception in the region in combination with economic strengthening to create more growth and jobs for both the local population and refugees. It deserves the support of the international community and the Netherlands won’t be slow to help.”
Featured image courtesy of Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons