Germany has announced an additional 100 million euros in aid to help rebuild the Iraqi city of Mosul after it was recaptured from extremists. Much of the city is in ruins after months of fighting.
The German government says it will massively step up its financial aid to the northern Iraqi city of Mosul after its liberation from the Islamic State, who held the city for three years.
"Now that Mosul has been liberated, we will quickly expand our programs. This year alone we will invest an additional 100 million euros ($117 million) in stabilization and reconstruction," Development Minister Gerd Müller told newspapers of the Funke media group published on Tuesday.
"We will save lives, ensure school education and create jobs," Müller said, adding that the focus would be on children, reestablishing the water and electricity supply, building housing, and medical care.
The report said that Germany had up to now invested some 50 million euros in stabilizing areas around Mosul where citizens who have fled the city are being housed, and in reconstructing regions that have been freed from the rule of IS.
'Most want to return'
Müller said that German support had already enabled more than 60,000 children in Mosul to go to school again and provided 150,000 people with access to vital drinking water. Most people who had fled from IS have remained in the region and want to return to the city, according to Müller, who has visited a refugee camp in the area.
"It is important that we do not leave people on their own," he said. He said that IS had caused inconceivable suffering to the people of Mosul, with torture, rape and destruction being the order of the day.
The liberation of Mosul from IS control was officially declared by the Iraqi government in mid-July after a months-long campaign involving the Iraqi army, allied militia, the Kurdistan Regional Government and aerial support from a US-led coalition.
More than a million people have fled from Mosul and the surrounding area since the government campaign began. Several districts in the city have now been reduced to rubble, and security forces still face the task of removing mines and explosives left by the IS militants.
tj/rt (EPD, KNA, Reuters)