Iraq gets USD7 million from Czech in humanitarian aid

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (R) and Czech premier Bohuslav Sobotka.

Baghdad ( Czech Republic has announced granting Iraq USD7 million in humanitarian aid, its prime minister said on Sunday as the country struggles to address the dilemma of millions of Iraqis displaced by the war against the Islamic State.

Bohuslav Sobotka, who made the first visit by a Czech premier to Iraq since 2011, made the announcement during a conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad.

Abadi expressed his country’s appreciation of Czech Republic’s support to his country in humanitarian, medical, aviation and training fields.

Sobotka also voiced his country’s eagerness for more cooperation with Iraq in the economic and commercial fields, especially in the petroleum sector.

“Mr. Sobotka told reporters that the Czech Republic was not just a formal member of the international coalition against IS but was very active. He also said that Iraq had been the biggest importer of Czech arms in the last two years,” according to Czech Radio Praha.

“The Czech Republic supplied CZK 93.6 million in aid to Iraq between 2012 and 2016; this year it has provided CZK 65.5 million,” the service said.

Czech Republic is a member of the U.S.-led international coalition against the Islamic State.

Iraq’s three-year war against the Islamic State has displaced nearly three million civilians since 2014, and dealt a serious damage to infrastructure at areas occupied by the militants, with local and international agencies estimating funds needed to make up for the damage by billions of dollars.

On Saturday, France’s visiting defense and foreign ministers said in Baghdad their country was going to provide Iraq with 430 million euros for post-IS stabilization efforts.

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