Khawla from As-Salamiyah once again has clean water in her home after a Funding Facility for Stabilization project supported Ninewah Governorate authorities to rehabilitate the As-Salamiyah Water Treatment Plant. Photo: Alex Potter/UNDP Iraq/2017

At the request of the Government of Iraq, and with strong support from the Coalition to Degrade and Defeat ISIL, UNDP established the Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) in June 2015 to facilitate the return of displaced Iraqis, lay the groundwork for reconstruction and recovery, and safeguard against the resurgence of violence and extremism.

UNDP’s stabilization efforts range from reconnecting communities to the electricity grid, to rehabilitating water and sewage systems, roads and bridges, to providing local people with short-term employment to remove rubble and help revitalize neighbourhoods. This investment in critical services sets the stage for recovery and resilience work, as well as longer-term reconstruction and development activities.

The essential goal of FFS is to enable the Government of Iraq (GOI) to provide immediate support to areas liberated by the Iraqi Security Forces. FFS’s work is overseen by a Steering Committee chaired by the Secretary General of the Iraqi Council of Ministers. Stabilization priorities are set by the Iraqi authorities who are directly responsible for stabilizing newly-liberated areas.

Once an area is declared safe, UNDP gets local contractors on the ground, usually within weeks. Stabilization priorities are set by the Iraqi authorities, who are directly responsible for stabilizing newly-liberated areas. Over 95% of the work is contracted through the local private sector, which reduces costs and ensures local companies rebuild their own cities with local labour.

FFS is currently operating in 31 locations and has over 2,100 projects in Ninewah, Anbar, Salah al-Din, Diyala and Kirkuk Governorates. In Mosul, more than 750 projects are already underway, including the rehabilitation of key water treatment plants, electrical substations, schools and health care facilities.

FFS promotes equal opportunities for women and girls in all of its programming. Women’s participation in every aspect of stabilization is encouraged – from the planning of projects, through monitoring their progress, to reporting on results.  FFS has a significant number of women engineers working on both its Baghdad- and Erbil-based teams.

The impact of FFS has been significant. Since the start of the most recent conflict in 2014, over 60% of the 3.6 million displaced Iraqis have returned to their homes. FFS has 29 donors that have committed over USD 800 million to stabilization efforts in Iraq.

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