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Prague may earmark up to 180 million for Iraq’s reconstruction

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Prague, Nov 27 (CTK) – The Czech Republic might provide 180 million crowns to help stabilise and reconstruct Iraq in the following years, according to a document on the agenda of the Wednesday meeting of the outgoing government, released to CTK.

The joint draft of the foreign affairs, defence and interior ministries includes humanitarian and development projects and activities to strengthen security.

The ministries consider support for Iraq useful since this country’s stability is crucial for the improvement of the security situation in the whole Middle East Region.

The Czech Republic has long provided aid to Iraq.

The document to be debated by the government defines the goals and financial framework for 2018-2021.

“The programme will support the stability of Iraq, and consequently of the whole region, and strengthen Iraq’s integrity and the functioning of state institutions and organisations of civic society, the document says.

The ministries expect migration to Europe to be reduced and conditions for the internally displaced persons and refugees returning home to be improved if the impact of the war with Islamic State (IS) on civilian inhabitants is mitigated.

According to the document, in 2018, the ministries will continue to work on the projects to which money had already been allocated. The programme will not allocate other finances for 2018, but it sets a goal to seek space for the Czech Republic’s further involvement in this respect.

In the following years, the government will gradually provide 50, 65 and 65 million crowns, that is 180 million in total.

According to the draft, the major part of the money or 59 million crowns should go to logistics, such as transport of humanitarian aid and tightening security measures. Up to 57 million crowns are designated for the strengthening of Iraq’s defence and internal security and 20 million crowns will go to each humanitarian aid and reconstruction.

The current aid of the Czech Republic to Iraq is based on the government programme for 2015-2017.

In this period, the Foreign Ministry released 150 million crowns in aid to the victims of the conflict with IS. The money was used to secure shelters, access to drinking water as well as psychological and social help and education.

In this period, the Interior Ministry released 75 million crowns to the development of infrastructure in refugee camps and the reconstruction of the territories liberated from IS.

The Ministry also spent 19.5 million crowns on expert stints and medical missions within the MEDEVAC programme to provide health care for victims of armed conflicts. Another 14 million went to the humanitarian aid to the people in the surroundings of Mosul, which had been one of the Islamists’ bastion and a place of severe fights.

The interior and defence sectors also jointly organise the training of the Iraqi armed forces, for instance, pilots and mechanics for the L-159 aircraft.

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