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Japan donates greenhouses, training to Iraq
Japan’s support of $1.5 million will benefit 3,000 people in conflict-affected Anbar, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah al-Din governorates. The families, who either remained during conflict or recently returned to their homes, will receive inputs, equipment and training for backyard gardening and greenhouse production to quickly improve food availability, dietary diversity and income, and increase self-reliance.
HE Mr Fumio Iwai, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq said, “It is the fourth year in a row since Japan started the assistance for vulnerable Iraqi and Syrian people affected by ISIL through its Supplementary Budget. This assistance shows Japan’s strong and faithful commitment to addressing the basic needs in the camps and the areas of return in Iraq.”
He added, “The assistance to FAO comes as part of the new package of humanitarian and stabilization efforts to Iraq amounting to approximately $100 million. Japan is determined to serve displaced and returning people, refugees and host communities in Iraq, while supporting Iraq’s efforts for its development”.
Some 1,260 people from vulnerable farming families, including households headed by women, will receive backyard gardening kits (planting containers, vegetable seeds, fertilizers and gardening hand tools) and training.
Another 1,740 people will be supported through greenhouses vegetable growing kits (seeds, tools and fertilizer) and training by FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture in vegetable production, including harvesting, storage, processing and marketing. The greenhouses will remain with communities at the end of the project.
“Japan’s strong, continued support for FAO in Iraq comes at a critical time for the country,” said Fadel El-Zubi, FAO Representative in Iraq. “With almost all areas controlled by ISIL retaken by the Government at the end of 2017, the focus is shifting to recovery and resilience. Through creating self-employment opportunities, improving income and purchasing power, this project supports social stability and will directly contribute to the peaceful and sustainable rural recovery of these areas.”
Benefits of the project include reducing the risk of rural-urban migration due to families needing to search for new livelihood opportunities in towns and cities. Through reintroducing cash flows into conflict-affected communities, the project will also revitalize local markets, and jumpstart economic development. This prevents people needing to sell fundamental assets, such as livestock, agricultural equipment or land, to meet their food needs.
Under the Humanitarian Response Plan 2018 and the Iraq Recovery and Resilience Programme 2018–2019, FAO is seeking urgent funding of $107 million to assist 2.2 million people through returns packages (multi-purpose cash, agricultural inputs and cash for work), rehabilitating irrigation systems, storage and processing facilities, and Department of Agriculture infrastructure and assets, preventing the spread of trans-boundary animal and plant pests and diseases, and promoting water resource management. FAO’s work, in coordination with the Iraqi government, supports families returning to retaken areas, families who remained during conflict, internally displaced people, host communities and refugees from Syria.
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