As ISIS is defeated and the territory it once occupied is liberated, it is becoming abundantly clear that the effort to defeat this terrorist group will take much more than just removing its malign presence.
“Iraqi forces prevailed because of their courage and determination to retake their country from these terrorists, enabled by Coalition training and support,” writes Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Brett McGurk. The military successes, he continues, were paralleled with an unprecedented humanitarian response. In Mosul alone, around 930,000 civilians fled the fighting, and every one of them has received humanitarian help.
“Our focus with the Iraqi government and United Nations on immediate stabilization programs has allowed more than 225,000 to return to their homes, and 350,000 children to return to school. Nationwide, over 2 million Iraqi civilians are back in their homes in areas liberated from ISIS,” writes Mr. McGurk.
Today, while much of the efforts in Iraq to defeat ISIS has turned toward stabilization, the main battle has moved to Syria, where U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian Arab Coalition are making a hard push to liberate Raqqa. Already, over 40 percent of the city has been cleared of ISIS terrorists.
“The accelerated military campaign to liberate Raqqa means we must redouble our efforts to identify, coordinate, and fund stabilization projects,” writes Special Envoy McGurk.
“The United Nations needs $140 million in additional humanitarian assistance for its Raqqa response, and we estimate over $50 million will be required for explosive hazard removal,” he writes. The UN also estimates that a further $560 million will be needed for humanitarian needs in Iraq, nationwide.
Last month, the United States responded with a further $119 million for humanitarian assistance and 150 million for stabilization programs for Iraq, and $20 million for the Syria Recovery Trust Fund.
“I again congratulate the Government of Iraq, Iraqi Security Forces, Kurdish Peshmerga, and the entire Global Coalition on the liberation of Mosul…Together, we have come a very long way – but there is more to do,” writes Mr. McGurk.
We call on all our partners to consider where their assistance will have the greatest impact, and donate generously.