In a press conference on Thursday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres responded to reporters demands to know more of the U.N.’s plans for the Middle East. Secretary-General Guterres answered by saying,

I have not forgotten Iraq. The stability of Iraq, the democratic nature of Iraq, the non-sectarian nature of Iraq is, I think, a fundamental contribution for the whole region and for peace and security globally. I believe all the international community should be fully engaged in supporting Iraq in the process that is now taking place.”

The majority of the direct action anti-Islamic State military operations in Iraq have all concluded aside from some minor raids to capture or kill ISIS sleeper cell members throughout the nation. The process of National reconstruction has entered its early stages, and the focus has been heavily on infrastructure repair and the establishment of regional security services to provide stability in the less developed areas. Nearly two million Iraqi citizens have become internally displaced due to the war against the Islamic State.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his hopes that Iraq will endure its parliamentary electoral disputes and come out of the debacle “with the full capacity to put their resources at the disposal of their own people.” The World Food Program has estimated that humanitarian aid will be required to some extent for up to 8.7 million Iraqis, primarily from the provinces that were occupied by the Islamic State for the greatest amount of time. UNHCR’s director for the Middle East, Amin Awad, has expressed that the amount of devastation in Mosul “cannot be underestimated.”

Earlier this year in Kuwait during a humanitarian aid conference, $30 billion was pledged to Iraqi for reconstruction operations. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told NATO meeting attendees in Brussels, Iraq will be allocating $540 million this year in an effort “to bring back stability and the voluntary return of IDPs to the liberated areas.” Abadi claims the funds will be turned over to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Featured image: Anne C. Richard, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres briefed the international media in Geneva August 3, 2012, after returning from a joint trip to Burkina Faso to review the situation of Malian refugees. Since January of this year, conflict and insecurity in Mali have generated more than 260,000 Malian refugees; an additional 155,000 Malians are estimated to be internally displaced. | By U.S. Mission Photo by Eric Bridiers [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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