Canada’s stabilization projects in Iraq and Syria

Backgrounder

On March 30, 2021, the Government of Canada announced more than $43.6 million in funding for 11 stabilization projects in Iraq and Syria. These projects, funded through the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, are aligned with the Global Coalition against Daesh’s stabilization efforts in these countries. Since 2016, Canada has committed up to $3.5 billion through its Middle East engagement strategy to respond to the crises in Iraq and Syria and address the impact theyhave had on the region.

In Iraq, projects will focus on rehabilitating public infrastructure, delivering essential services, clearing the explosive remnants of war and local peacebuilding efforts to support the reintegration of internally displaced peoples affiliated with Daesh.

In Syria, projects will focus on stabilizing areas formerly occupied by Daesh, supporting the restoration of essential services, fostering reconciliation and providing access to truthful information.

Project: Return and Reintegration of Iraqi Families with Perceived Daesh Affiliation
Funding: $2,902,437
Description:
This project will strengthen community-level capacity to support the voluntary and safe return and reintegration of Iraqi families perceived to be affiliated with Daesh and increase the social cohesion and resilience of communities affected by conflict and displacement. These efforts will contribute to increased resilience in these populations by providing protection and supporting mental and psychosocial health and legal services.

Project: Community Policing in Liberated Areas in Iraq
Funding: $4,000,000
Description:
This project aims to increase the capacity of local police and border guards to address security challenges in liberated areas through the use of community policing practices. The training of local police and civil society in community policing coupled with the rehabilitation of community police stations will strengthen the capacity of law enforcement actors (for example, the police and the judiciary) to engage with communities. It will help them identify and resolve security issues and reinforce the community’s capacity to engage with security actors to effectively address security issues through community policing.

Project: Funding Facility for Stabilization
Funding: $10,000,000
Description:
This project aims to consolidate military gains and rebuild trust among local people for government authorities by demonstrating progress in liberated areas. The initiative focuses on 4 lines of effort: 1) rehabilitating public infrastructure, 2) delivering targeted cash for work and livelihood assistance, 3) enhancing the capacity of municipal governments, and 4) supporting reconciliation and social cohesion efforts.

Project: Complex Improvised Explosive Device Clearance in Liberated Areas of Iraq
Funding: $10,000,000
Description:
This project supports the deployment of improvised explosive device (IED) clearance teams to liberated areas in Iraq. Project activities include: 1) conducting IED survey and clearance operations in residential areas and in critical infrastructure sites, 2) providing training to local non-governmental organizations working in the mine-action space, and 3) providing training to local men, women and children on hazardous environment awareness.

Project: Integrated Clearance of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) in Iraq
Funding: $2,000,000
Description:
This project focuses on the clearance of explosive ordnance in order to support the safe return of internally displaced persons and the rebuilding of areas previously occupied by Daesh. The initiative prioritizes clearing public spaces and critical infrastructure and providing access for the restoration of vital services (such as water and electricity) and to agricultural land. This project supports mixed-gender teams and the training and deployment of specialist improvised explosive device search dogs.

Project: Mine Action Supporting Stabilization and Gender Equality
Funding: $1,073,000
Description:
This project will support the clearance of explosive hazards in liberated areas of Iraq to increase access for the Government of Iraq and UN agencies to damaged critical infrastructure so that other stabilization efforts can proceed. It will enable increased access for Iraqi women and men to commercial and residential land and to essential services. The project will also support advocacy for the increased participation of women in all facets of mine action in Iraq.

Project: Preparing for the Prosecution of Breaches of ICHL in Iraqi
Funding: $917,124
Description:
This project leverages experienced international lawyers and investigators to ensure that evidence of Daesh’s violations of international criminal and humanitarian law is compiled and documented to the highest international standards. This project aims to increase access to justice and accountability for Iraqis affected by the conflict and strengthen the international response to atrocities committed by Daesh in Iraq.

Project: Preventing Reprisals and Mitigating Violence in Iraq
Funding: $4,709,391
Description:
This project aims to initiate a grassroots anti-retribution movement in Iraq to help protect vulnerable populations. The project will conduct primary research on local perceptions of instability and a social media campaign that promotes reconciliation messages at the community level and establish crisis committees that will address community-level disputes caused or exacerbated by the Islamic State’s occupation.

Project: Conflict Resolution in Syria (CRISP)
Funding: $2,627,620
Description:
This project seeks to reduce violence resulting from the absence of justice and dispute resolution in Syria. The project is designed to empower communities in Syria to break cycles of violence, restore social cohesion and strengthen resilience against Daesh. These goals will be achieved through research, media and communications outreach and conflict resolution.

Project: Support to Independent Media in Syria
Funding: $5,000,000
Description:
This project will counter disinformation by providing Syrians with reliable and truthful information to reduce violence, promote stabilization and produce and distribute media content through local independent media. Issues addressed through media content include national and local security, political processes, the economy, women’s issues and health issues, including COVID-19.

Project: Support to Immediate Stabilization in Deir ez-Zor
Funding: $417, 374
Description:
This pilot initiative will contribute to the stabilization of communities in Syria to help build resilience to violence and counter the resurgence of Daesh. These goals will be achieved by restoring water infrastructure, increasing capacity to manage resource-driven disputes and mitigate conflicts.

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