EU announces 75 mn euros aid to Iraq

Brussels, Jan 20: The European Union (EU) will provide 75 million euros to support the development of Iraq from 2014 to 2020, European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs announced Monday at a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

According to Piebalgs, the aid will be finalised before 2020. The EU proposed it to be used in three areas – rule of law and human rights, capacity building in primary and secondary education and sustainable energy, Xinhua reported.

“The EU will focus future actions on strengthening rule of law and continue supporting institution building in Iraq aimed at reconstructing the country and improving the welfare of its population,” said Piebalgs. “This will be done in coordination with EU member states and other donors, and in line with the government’s own plans.”

On the challenges faced by the country, Piebalgs said that over the past months the escalation of violence undermined its stability.

However, he was confident the Iraqi authorities would work towards a successful transition to democracy and long-term stability for the benefit of Iraq’s citizens.

Since 2008, the European Union has provided around 157 million euro in bilateral cooperation to Iraq.

IANS