Today’s U.S.-Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee meeting in Washington underscored the breadth of U.S. support for Iraq.
Public health and the pandemic:
- The United States will donate 500,000 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses to Iraq through COVAX.
- The State Department is providing $800,000 to enhance safety procedures to prevent the misuse of biological samples and medical equipment.
- The United States will continue to support efforts to prevent COVID-19 through community awareness, the promotion of vaccine acceptance, the sustainment of primary health care services, and the provision of mental health and psychosocial support.
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will train public health workers to mitigate the health risks associated with mass gatherings, improve infection prevention and control, and strengthen management and coordination in responding to public health emergencies.
- The United States announced $155 million in additional humanitarian assistance to provide shelter, healthcare, food, water, and hygiene services across Iraq. This funding will also help displaced Iraqis obtain civil documentation and legal services, improve the capacity of healthcare facilities, and increase access to education and job opportunities.
Clean energy and climate change:
- The United States plans to provide technical assistance for renewable energy and climate adaptation.
- The United States commended Iraq for work underway to submit a revised Nationally Determined Contribution under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Paris Agreement.
- The United States plans to cooperate with Iraq to strengthen climate adaptation and mitigation governance capacity, reduce gas flaring, develop renewable and clean energy initiatives, promote water conservation, and support the protection of Iraq’s native flora and fauna.
- The United States encouraged Iraq to participate in the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate.
- U.S. and Iraqi scientists and academics plan to exchange views on climate adaptation and mitigation.
- The United States and Iraq discussed ways to advance vital energy projects with U.S. companies and facilitate trade in U.S. agricultural products.
- The United States stands ready to help Iraq implement its economic reform white paper, through assistance from USAID and a new potential program from the State Department focused on fiscal transparency.
- The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) continues engagement on its MOU with Iraq and plans to invest up to $1 billion to boost private sector activity that creates jobs and provides opportunities for Iraqis.
- DFC plans to host a virtual town hall with U.S. and Iraqi companies this year to help facilitate investment projects.
Human rights and elections:
- The two delegations discussed how the United States could best support the Iraqi government to protect protesters, activists, women in public life, and journalists, as well as pursue judicial accountability for violent crimes against those groups.
- The United States recently provided $9.7 million to UNAMI for technical electoral-assistance work. The United States previewed plans to provide up to $5.2 million more for UNAMI’s election monitoring team, pending engagement with Congress.
- The two countries concurred that the presence of both a UNAMI monitoring team and EU observation mission represents a good-faith effort by the international community to support the Iraqi people’s calls for free and fair elections in October.
- The United States reaffirmed its continued intention to support Iraq in helping communities that were targeted by ISIS recover, as well as working to peacefully rehabilitate and reintegrate Iraqis with perceived or actual ISIS familial ties – particularly women and children – back into society.
- The United States commended the Government of Iraq for passage of the Yezidi Survivors Law, and both delegations concurred on the need to implement it and support the new Survivors Affairs Directorate at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to facilitate services and reparations for survivors of ISIS. The GOI committed to passing a High Tribunal Law to further promote justice for ISIS survivors.
Higher education, science, and culture:
- Since 2017, the United States has provided $17.5 million in assistance to support non-state, not-for-profit institutions of higher education in Iraq.
- The United States, Iraq, and the Smithsonian Institution have decided on an expansion and extension of the Nimrud Rescue Project.
- The United States is providing assistance to archaeological preservation projects in Babylon, Mosul, and Erbil, as well as other vulnerable sites.
- The United States will launch a new virtual museum initiative in collaboration with the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage called Treasures of Mesopotamia that will bring Iraq’s rich cultural heritage to millions online.
- The United States will allocate $1.2 million to the Liberated Universities Initiative, restoring Iraqi universities in Ninewa devastated by ISIS.
- The United States and Iraq reaffirmed their commitment to producing strong, “job-ready” Iraqi vocational and college graduates through enhanced pedagogy and expanded educational opportunity and scholarships through the Higher Education Partnership, the Fulbright Program, the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, and the English Access Microscholarship Program.