Landmark cooperation deal signed between UN and Iraqi Government

13 August 2008
Iraqi girl receives a new school bag from UN staff in Damascus

The United Nations today signed a landmark agreement with the Government of Iraq which lays down a three-year blueprint for the world body’s work in reconstruction, development and humanitarian assistance.

“The Strategy signals a real moment of opportunity in Iraq, with greater stability, a clear will to recover, a growing UN presence and better access to many areas,” said David Shearer, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.

“We will now be able to consolidate achievements and shift focus – helping Iraq to mobilize its substantial capacity and resources while we work to meet outstanding humanitarian needs,” he added.

Ali Baban, Iraq’s Minister of Planning and Development Cooperation, welcomed the agreement, saying it represents “an important step” in Iraq’s recovery process.

“It brings the whole UN organization together in partnership with Iraq and its people, to reduce poverty, foster growth and consolidate democracy in our country,” he stated.

The agreement sets out how UN agencies will cooperate to help Iraq achieve its key economic and social goals, as reflected in the International Compact for Iraq. It contains development and humanitarian solutions for better essential social services such as education and water, and protection for highly vulnerable groups. It also focuses on boosting Iraq’s private sector to create more jobs, and stronger, more accountable systems for governance.

Mr. Shearer noted that the announcement marks the UN’s commemoration of the August 2003 Canal Hotel bombing, which claimed the lives of 22 staff members, including the top UN envoy in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, and wounded more than 150.

“Five years later, we are now in a position to strengthen our international presence across Iraq,” he said. “We plan to see faster implementation on the ground and stronger policy guidance in Baghdad.”

The new strategy aims to ensure that projects are results-orientated and accountable, as required under the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, which was recently endorsed by Iraq.

Projects will be funded through three primary mechanisms: substantial cost-sharing by Iraq’s Government, international support through the Iraq Trust Fund, and the Humanitarian Appeal.


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