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11/11/2020 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Baghdad and international partners have endorsed the 3-year extension of the UNDP’s flagship program in Iraq, the Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS).  This program is managed by the United Nations and requires $660 million to cover the priority needs of areas liberated from ISIS, including Nineveh, the governorate previously home to most of the country’s religious minorities.

The extended program includes an exit strategy in 2023 which would hand over the implementation of stabilization activities to Iraq’s Central Government. It would focus on areas that have experienced few returns, prioritizing infrastructure rehabilitation and sustainable livelihood activities. The program began in 2015 and has mobilized $1.3 billion to date.

The previous governor of Nineveh had stated in 2018 that they need $42 billion to repair the damage the governorate received at the hands of the Islamic State. Within Nineveh, returnees have mostly concentrated in certain select areas (such as the Christian city of Qeraqosh), leaving the rest of the governorate sparsely populated by returnees in comparison. Infrastructure, security, and stability remain some of the top concerns which have prevented returnees from leaving their areas of displacement.

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