The United States and Hungary: Working Together Toward Recovery in Northern Iraq

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Friday, October 25, 2019

In furtherance of a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in December 2018, USAID and the Government of Hungary are proud to announce new coordinated projects for the recovery of the town of Qaraqosh in the Ninewa Plain, and in Sinjar.  

In Qaraqosh, USAID has announced a new $330,000 project that will be implemented through the Assyrian Aid Society to help restore St. George's Commercial Center. This project will rehabilitate 100 locally-owned shops damaged by ISIS, enabling businesses to reopen and accelerating economic recovery in one of Iraq's most diverse districts. Previously in Qaraqosh, USAID has supported projects to restore the delivery of public services, including power, clean water, and streetlights, rehabilitate public spaces and schools, and enhance public safety. USAID has also previously provided $12 million to support the rehabilitation of the nearby Hamdaniya Hospital.

Complementing these USAID efforts, the Government of Hungary recently announced a $1,125,000 contribution through the Hungary Helps Program to the Syriac Catholic Archdiocese of Mosul to assist with the clearing of rubble and mines in addition to further reconstruction of 35 severely damaged residential buildings in Qaraqosh. The Government of Hungary has since 2017 provided over $3.1 million through the Hungary Helps Program to help restore homes, rehabilitate a school, provide psychosocial care, and reconstruct water networks in the Qaraqosh area, enabling several hundred internally displaced families to return to and remain in their homeland. 

In Sinjar, USAID is also proud to announce a new $350,000 project identified by Nadia Murad and Nadia's Initiative that will improve electricity provision in Sinjar City and the surrounding villages. This project is in addition to the projects implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Yazda as well as USAID's recent announcement of $18 million to IOM and Samaritan's Purse to help support the return and recovery of displaced religious and ethnic minority communities from Sinjar.

The Government of Hungary through the Hungary Helps Program has recently granted $481,000 to the Hungarian Interchurch Aid to coordinate with Nadia's Initiative and the Free Yezidi Foundation to identify projects in the Sinjar region, in addition to a further $96,000 granted to the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil to support Yezidi women and their children who had suffered severe trauma at the hands of ISIS. 

In December 2018, USAID signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Hungary to respond to the genocide and persecution of religious minorities in the Ninewa Plains of northern Iraq. Through the MOU, the United States and Hungary indicated their shared commitment to development cooperation that seeks to empower these traumatized communities to not only recover, but also to return to and thrive in their ancient homelands. Through the MOU, USAID and Hungary have worked in consultation to identify projects to help those who were forced to flee their homes to remain in the Ninewa Plain and Sinjar.

Last updated: October 25, 2019

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