Government adopts new development strategy for Iraq

The Government today adopts a five-year development strategy for Iraq, thereby increasing its engagement in the country. The strategy is intended to contribute to peacebuilding and strengthening gender equality in the difficult and crucial situation the country is now in.

With this new strategy, Sweden is taking an entirely new approach to long-term engagement in cooperation with Iraq. Sweden has previously had a country strategy for Iraq, but it was decided in early 2014 to phase this out. Since the situation in the country has changed considerably in the last three years, the Government has decided on this new engagement.
"Iraq is standing at a hugely important crossroads as the military fight against Daesh in the country nears its end. The challenges are enormous and require broad engagement to prevent Iraq relapsing into conflict," says Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate Isabella Lövin.

The development strategy for Iraq encompasses more than SEK 200 million annually between 2017 and 2021. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) will implement the strategy.

The strategy will take account of the difficult political, economic and humanitarian situation in Iraq. In this way, it will contribute to stabilisation, increased respect for human rights and gender equality, and, in the long term, improved conditions for sustainable peace- and state-building and reconciliation.
"When I visited Fallujah in March I saw for myself the immense devastation caused by the advance of Daesh. It is very important that we contribute to building up these areas so that the local population can return, not least minority groups who have been hit hard. Bringing about national reconciliation and a sustainable peace requires support for efforts in which the entire Iraqi population – naturally including women – participate actively," says Ms Lövin.

The strategy supplements extensive humanitarian support to Iraq, totalling SEK 145 million so far in 2017, and Sweden's contribution to the military training mission operated by the Global Coalition against Daesh.


Annika Flensburg
Press Secretary to Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00