Wed. Jul 24th, 2024
U.S.-Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee Fact Sheet on U.S. Foreign Assistance to Iraq

The U.S.-Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee meeting in Washington, co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning Mohammed Tamim on April 15, reiterated the strong partnership between the United States and Iraq.  The United States remains Iraq’s most significant partner in economic development and humanitarian assistance.  Since 2014, the United States has invested nearly $3.5 billion in humanitarian and development assistance to help Iraqis recover from the destruction of ISIS and meet their long-term development goals.  U.S. assistance supports Iraq’s stability, sovereignty, and security.  It also supports economic opportunities for the Iraqi people, enhances Iraq’s democracy, and helps the government improve services for all Iraqis, including those from vulnerable and marginalized communities.  In 2023 alone, the United States provided $150 million in economic development assistance and $114.2 million in humanitarian assistance for Iraq.  In addition, the United States invests Public Diplomacy funds in support of educational partnerships, workforce development, entrepreneurship, English-language training, and cultural heritage preservation; this amount totals about $93 million since 2014.

  • Economic Reform and Private Sector Growth: The United States supports Iraq’s efforts to diversify its economy and promote inclusive economic growth.  USG activities support:
    • Business incubators, start-ups, entrepreneurs, and micro, small, and medium enterprises;     
    • Increased access to finance;     
    • Regulatory reform and commercial law development; and,
    • Fiscal transparency.
  • Climate Change, Energy, and Water:  Iraq is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change.  To increase Iraq’s ability to adapt to climate change, modernize its energy sector, and develop effective water management policies, USG activities include:
    • Supporting and promoting the capture of flared gas;
    • Improving regulations and creating systems to support climate adaptation, data collection, and water management;
    • Supporting local governments and rural communities to adopt modern agriculture practices and technologies to combat the impact of water scarcity;
    • Increasing the efficiency of natural gas power plants to achieve greater power production with the same, if not less, gas;
    • Improving public services for potable water, solid waste management and wastewater treatment; and,
    • Improving infrastructure inspection and dam safety policies and practices.
  • Cultural Heritage Programs: The United States maintains strong relationships with key historical preservation organizations in Iraq to allow museums and conservators to highlight Iraq’s rich history and cultural diversity. U.S.-funded activities include:
    • Supporting Iraqi experts to learn the latest conservation techniques;
    • Repairing and restoring important cultural heritage sites;
    • Digitizing and documenting artifacts and historic documents; and,
    • Return of historical artifacts from the United States to Iraq. 
  • Human Rights and Democracy Programs: The United States supports civil society groups in Iraq to bolster effective governance, political participation, and civic activism; protect and advance fundamental freedoms; and promote atrocity prevention, accountability, and social cohesion.  Activities include:
    • Supporting housing, land, and property rights;
    • Provision of technical assistance to Iraqi authorities on forensic identification and missing persons;
    • Provision of legal assistance and psychosocial support to vulnerable populations;
    • Promoting social cohesion and nonviolent dispute resolution within communities;
    • Providing technical assistance to elected Members of Parliament on legislative drafting and constituent outreach; and,
    • Advancing justice and accountability efforts for ISIS atrocities.
  • Higher Education Programs: The United States supports private institutions of higher education, U.S.-Iraqi higher education partnerships, and workforce development programs.  U.S.-funded activities include:
    • Supporting efforts by Iraqi and Iraqi-Kurdish private higher education institutions to achieve U.S. accreditation;
    • Promoting women’s education, English-language skills, and career development;
    • Facilitating partnerships between U.S. and Iraqi higher education institutions in English Language instruction, computer literacy and presentation skills to better prepare Iraqi youth for success in the 21st century economy;
    • Supporting workforce training programs for Iraqi youth to build skills needed for success in a changing global workplace; and,
    • Youth-focused programing through a network of American Spaces, trainings on design thinking and media literacy, and exchanges to the United States for more than 300 young Iraqis in 2024. 
  • Humanitarian and Stabilization Assistance: The United States is the largest provider of humanitarian assistance to Iraq. Humanitarian needs persist in Iraq, and assistance remains necessary for internally displaced persons, vulnerable Iraqis, returnees, refugees, and persons at risk of statelessness.  The United States also works alongside our Iraqi partners and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS to support stabilization in areas liberated from ISIS.   The United States is the largest donor supporting the Jedda’a 1 rehabilitation camp.  U.S.-funded activities include:
    • Providing drinking water, shelter, and food assistance;
    • Ensuring access to essential healthcare as well as mental health and psychosocial support;
    • Helping vulnerable Iraqis get back to work and school;
    • Expanding access to civil documentation, which helps provide long-term solutions to displaced populations;
    • Helping displaced persons, including returnees from northeast Syria, return to areas of origin, integrate locally, or settle in new locations voluntarily, safely, and with dignity;
    • Supporting hosting communities and promoting social cohesion; and
    • Preserving evidence of ISIS atrocities and promoting local, national, and international accountability efforts.

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originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS