UNHCR responds to diversifying needs of Iraqis with the assistance of the Government of Sweden

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Baghdad, Iraq Date: 13 March 2018
As Iraq transitions out of crisis, families affected by conflict face new and diverse challenges. While millions of Iraqis are rebuilding their lives, an estimated 8.7 million people are still in need of lifesaving assistance. Some 2.3 million people are displaced and many of the 3.5 million people who returned to their homes remain vulnerable.
In some parts of Iraq hard-hit by the recent conflict the groundwork for recovery is being laid and people are returning to their homes. UNHCR is working to ensure their return is sustainable by assisting people to restore damaged homes and facilitating projects that benefit whole communities. This inclusive approach supports broader social cohesion efforts in sometimes still fragile communities. In other parts of the country the conditions necessary for people to return home safely are not yet in place, and thousands of Iraqis need continuing services in camps for some time to come.
Diverse needs call for a complex response. A new contribution of US$ 1.77 million (14 million Swedish krona) from the Government of Sweden enables UNHCR to maintain a dual focus, providing emergency protection and assistance whilst simultaneously contributing to longer-term recovery and resilience.
“Sweden remains committed to supporting the needs of the most vulnerable people in Iraq during this new and complicated phase of the humanitarian crisis, and we are proud to support UNHCR to this end,” said Pontus Melander, Ambassador of Sweden to Iraq.
Sweden is one of UNHCR’s main donors and the largest donor of unearmarked funds, which allows UNHCR to use the funds with flexibility where the needs are the greatest. In 2017, Sweden was UNHCR’s sixth largest donor with a contribution of US$ 112 million. In 2018, Sweden has thus far contributed over US$ 134 million dollars to UNHCR’s operations worldwide.
“We must continue to support Iraq at this critical time as it turns the page over a turbulent decade,” said Mr. Bruno Geddo, UNHCR Representative to Iraq. “With the backing of far-sighted donors like Sweden, UNHCR will remain by the side of the Iraqi people on their road to recovery.”
In areas where it is safe for people to return, UNHCR facilitates small-scale projects to restore essential infrastructure like canal bridges, water purification plants, municipal and court buildings, and provides materials for people to repair their homes, including housing units for families whose homes were destroyed. The UN Refugee Agency also maintains camps for internally displaced people and refugees, and provides essential protection services for people affected by conflict.