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The assistance of the European Union (EU) on Iraq is currently based on better improving the access of Iraqis to basic services. The assistance of the EU to Iraq from 2003 until the end of 2008 amounted a total of € 933 million, which includes € 785.3 million for support for reconstruction managed by EuropeAid Cooperation Office and the European Service for External Action EEAS and humanitarian aid, managed by the Directorate General for humanitarian aid and civil protection of the European Commission (EC). The EC has developed a program to help guide integrated for the period 2009-2010, a total budget of € 65.8 million.

Country strategy

In order to move progressively towards a regular multi-annual programming strategy for Iraq, the Commission has defined a two-year integrated assistance package for the period 2009-2010 with a total budget of €65.8 million.

This will be followed, if possible, by a Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for the period 2011-2013. Read the note on the integrated assistance package for 2009-2010, entitled 'Iraq: capacity building programme 2009-2010' .

- State of Play July 2009 pdf - 2 MB [2 MB]

- State of Play April 2009 pdf - 83 KB [83 KB]

- State of Play January 2009 pdf - 77 KB [77 KB]

EU aid overview 2003-2009

Financial overview of EuropeAid co-operation with Iraq 2003-2009

€ Million


















* Development Co-operation with Asia and Latin America

** Development Co-operation Instrument

*** Forecast

EU aid programmes 2008

The 2008 assistance programme, financed under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), amounted to €72.6 million. All channelled through bilateral agreements.

The overall objectives of the 2008 assistance package are to strengthen the capacity of Iraqi institutions and to improve the quality of life of the population through the provision of basic services. Significant support has also been allocated to actions aimed at assisting refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and returnees.

One programme (€10.6 million) will deliver Technical Assistance to specific Iraqi institutions, in an effort to help Iraqis build the capacity of their institutions. This is the first bilateral project between the EC and the Government of Iraq. The agreement for this Technical Assistance programme was signed in March 2009 by the Commission and the Government of Iraq. In July 2009 the EC signed aMemorandum of Understanding with Iraq's Council of Representatives(CoR). The signing of this Memorandum is an important step forward in developing closer co-operation between the EC and the CoR, and for the implementation of this Technical Assistance programme.

In order to support specialised medical services, €13 million has been set aside to strengthen specialised medical services. This programme, implemented by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in close collaboration with the Iraqi Ministry of Health, seeks to improve the functioning of the national and regional blood bank services. Support will also be provided to Emergency Medical Services in improving pre-hospital and in-hospital emergency services, long-term care and mental health support.

Support of €7 million will contribute to increased government capacity to better manage the water and sanitation sectors. This intervention, implemented by UNICEF, is contributing to the improvement of access to water in rural areas, the improvement of wastewater treatment systems in crowded agglomerations, and the improvement of planning capacities at governorate level.

Because of the significant numbers of displaced Iraqis living either as IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) within Iraq or as refugees, most of whom have fled to neighbouring Syria and Jordan, in 2008 the EC set aside an amount of €42 million in support of refugees and IDPs.

A €6 million programme is working to create a protective environment and facilitate durable solutions for returnees and IDPs within Iraq, while also targeting local communities impacted by displacement.

The large influx of refugees has placed a considerable strain on the economy and infrastructure in neighbouring countries which host the refugees, in particular Syria and Jordan. The EC is continuing to support Syria and Jordan in coping with Iraqi refugees, focusing again on the provision of basic services in areas where there is a high concentration of Iraqi refugees. In Jordan, a support of €12 million aims at managing scarce water resources in the Zarqa region. In Syria, two education programmes totalling €14 million will assist the Syrian authorities in dealing with the strain caused in the education sector by the large influx of Iraqi refugees. Finally, a €10 million intervention aims at providing critical equipment and support to improve solid and medical waste management services.

Support from Thematic Programmes

EC aid to Iraq also focuses on human rights through specific thematic programmes such as the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). €2.6 million were allocated in 2005 to support the development of Iraqi civil society organisations active in the human rights field. This successful project, implemented by UNDP and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), allowed the monitoring of prisons and prisoners conditions as well as the rehabilitation of torture victims. It ended in January 2008 and is already followed up by the 2007 larger EC operation to support the rule of law and justice in Iraq.

One new project financed by the EIDHR was approved in December 2008, and implementation of this project is now underway. The project seeks to build the capacity of Iraqi civil society organisations, improve the awareness of, and enhance respect for, human rights.

Iraq also benefits from the Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window programme promoting mobility and co-operation in the field of higher education. Following an open call for proposals, a university consortium is chosen each year to implement the programme with Iraq, Iran and Yemen for the academic year that follows, with a total budget of €3 million. The chosen consortium mobilises each year more than 110 exchanges of students between the EU and these 3 countries.

- State of Play October 2008 pdf - 64 KB [64 KB]

- State of Play July 2008 pdf - 2 MB [2 MB]

- State of Play May 2008 pdf - 78 KB [78 KB] français (fr)

EU aid programmes 2007

The 2007 assistance programme for the reconstruction of Iraq allocated funds to support the:

- rule of law and justice (€14 million).

- Electoral Process (€20 million)

- Public Finance Management reform (€20 million)

- Provision of basic health and education services for Iraqi refugees in Syria and Jordan (€38.68 million). This complements the 2006 first package of €10 million in support of Internally Displaced People in Iraq and €17.8 million donated for humanitarian operations in favour of internally and externally displaced people.

The assistance programme for the reconstruction builds upon previous experiences in this sector and complements the ongoing Integrated Rule of Law Mission for Iraq (EU JUSTLEX) financed by the Council of the EU.

EU aid programmes 2004- 2007

In 2004, the Commission, together with several countries, set up the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) to combine their efforts for the reconstruction of Iraq.

This Multi-Donor Trust Fund is managed by the United Nations and the World Bank. Its main goal is to coordinate and centralise efforts to reconstruct Iraq's economic, social and political life. So far, 25 donors have contributed to the IRFFI and 180 projects were implemented.

The Commission allocated €605 million to the IRFFI between 2003 and 2007. The Commission is by far the largest donor to the IRFFI, contributing about 42% of the Fund.

EU aid programmes 2003

In 2003, The European Commission (EC) approved its first emergency support contribution to Iraq. This totalled €142 million and comprised both humanitarian and reconstruction aid.

- The Humanitarian Aid Department (DG ECHO) provided €100 million.

- The European Rapid Reaction Mechanism (RRM), managed by the External Relations Directorate General (DG RELEX), donated €8 million for the most urgent projects

- The Asia and Latin America co-operation programme provided €34 million for reconstruction projects through the Thematic Trust Fund for Crisis Prevention and Recovery.

Key Documents

You can download here the following documents relative to the Commission's co-operation with Iraq.

State of Plays provide the latest information on the current co-operation situation at the time of their release:

- State of Play July 2009 pdf - 2 MB [2 MB]

- State of Play April 2009 pdf - 83 KB [83 KB]

- State of Play January 2009 pdf - 77 KB [77 KB]

- State of Play October 2008 pdf - 64 KB [64 KB]

- State of Play July 2008 pdf - 2 MB [2 MB]

- State of Play May 2008 pdf - 78 KB [78 KB] français (fr)

- EC Report on Support to Iraq IDPs and Refugees, September 2008 pdf - 112 KB [112 KB]

- Press Release on January 2009 Provincial Elections and 2008 Iraq Assistance pdf - 70 KB [70 KB]

More information

For more information on EU policy towards Iraq see the European External Action Service website.

More information on EU relations with Iraq is available on the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Iraq. For trade relations see the Trade Directorate-General website.

Last update: 15/01/2014 | Top