Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) believes the EU needs a strategy for the reconstruction of (Northern) Iraq. A Parliamentary Resolution adopted yesterday emphasised the need to protect the Iraqi population, including the various (ethnical) minorities in Northern Iraq. It also called for support to the millions of displaced people, after the ouster of the so-called Islamic State. Schaake: "The liberation of Mosul from IS is long awaited but will likely also be accompanied by a new humanitarian crisis and need for reconstruction. There is a dire need to work on reconciliation and justice. Now is the time for the EU, together with its (international) partners, to develop a strategy for an Iraq after IS."
The battle for Mosul will have far-reaching consequences for the civilian population. UNHCR warns of capacity problems when up to 1 million civilians will flee from Mosul. Shelter and assistance would cost between 0.4 and 1.8 billion dollars. Schaake: "Refugee camps and organisations lack funds already. Of the required 861 million dollars needed under the internationally administered Iraq Humanitarian Response Plan, only one-third is available. Looking at the total required amount of financial assistance needed for Iraq, the 30 million dollar the EU committed last month seems insignificant."
The return of refugees and displaced persons, including minorities, depends on a legitimate, stable government in Baghdad. Schaake: "It is essential that EU Foreign Policy chief Mogherini comes up with a plan, detailing EU support for the reconstruction of Iraq, as soon as possible. Financial instruments should be made available, and a political dialogue between the various ethnic and religious groups and minorities has to be facilitated. The goal is the formation of an inclusive, sustainable government which will respect the fundamental rights of all groups in Iraq. It is important that regional powers are involved in this process, while keeping in mind the territorial integrity of Iraq."