On the eve of the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition Against ISIS, Belgium allocates four million euros for humanitarian mine clearance and stabilization efforts in Syria and Iraq

The fight against terrorism is a priority of Belgium’s Foreign Policy. To this end, our country actively participates in the Global Coalition Against ISIS. In this framework, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders will attend the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition Against ISIS on November 14 in Washington.

Despite the challenges posed by the recent Turkish operation in northeastern Syria and the fact that the elimination of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi represents an important victory, it is essential that the coalition continue the fight against ISIS. Reaffirming this goal will be at the heart of the Washington meeting.

On the eve of this meeting, the Belgian government decided to mobilize a significant contribution for the purpose of humanitarian mine clearance and stabilizing efforts in Syria and Iraq.

In Iraq, it is essential to consolidate gains after the complete resumption of the territories under the control of ISIS. It is essential to stabilize and rebuild the country to prevent the population from turning to terrorist groups. To this end, Belgium has decided to allocate € 2 million to the UNDP's Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS).

Today Syria and in Iraq urgently need humanitarian assistance and mine clearance, both of which are necessary to achieve a lasting stabilization of the country. As a result, Belgium has released € 2 million for 2019 to contribute to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS)’s humanitarian mine clearance activities in Syria and Iraq. To save lives, humanitarian mine clearance is paramount. It enables people to return home, to move around and to be able to make good use of their land, which in turn enables the development of areas affected by mine contamination. It also allows people who were hurt by mines or other war explosives to receive assistance. Mine clearance opens up a tried and tested path towards stabilizing post-conflict areas.