At the request of the Prime Minister of Iraq, and with strong support from leading members of the Coalition to Degrade and Defeat ISIL, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) established the Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) in June 2015 to help rapidly stabilize newly retaken areas. The Facility was initially capitalized at US$7 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); 23 donors have now contributed more than $420 million in funding.
The aim is to help restore confidence in the leading role of the Government in newly retaken areas and give populations a sense of progress and forward momentum. The approach is swift. Within days of a city being declared safe, teams conduct damage assessments and agree on stabilization priorities with local authorities. These include: a) repairing essential public infrastructure, including water systems and electricity grids; b) employing youth on work brigades to remove rubble, open transport routes and revitalize the city; c) providing cash grants to businesses to reopen; d) rehabilitating schools, health centres and municipal buildings.
The Facility is currently endorsed to operate in 28 areas selected by the Stabilization Committee, which is co-chaired by the Secretary General of the Cabinet. More than 1,100 projects are now active in Ninewah, Anbar, Salah al-Din, Diyala and Kirkuk Governorates.
In Mosul, the largest stabilization project to date, more than 300 projects are already underway, including the rehabilitation of key water treatment plants, electrical substations, schools and health care facilities.
The impact of FFS has been significant. Since the start of the conflict in 2014, over two million displaced Iraqis have returned to their homes in newly liberated areas.