The federal government wants to lure thousands of iraqi refugees back to their old homeland with local jobs and apprenticeships.
In baghdad, development minister gerd muller agreed with the iraqi government on stronger cooperation for the return of refugees and opened a migration counseling center in the kurdish town of erbil. No one should have to return to their home country as a "loser", the CSU politician stressed. For this reason, training and employment opportunities are being created on the ground in cooperation with the iraqi authorities and the economy. Up to 10.000 iraqis to be helped by project to regain foothold in their homeland. The emphasis is on voluntarism.
In the kurdish provincial capital of erbil, the CSU politician opened the first german center for returnees in the middle east. Such centers already exist in albania, kosovo, serbia, tunisia, morocco, ghana and senegal as part of the "perspective on home" project. Such facilities are also being planned in afghanistan and nigeria. Of the 240.According to the development ministry, just under 12,000 iraqis in germany are.000 obliged to leave the country.
The iraqi abu bakar is a returnee. His father was killed by militias in front of his eyes, his brother was shot, and he himself was kidnapped, as he reports. In october 2015, the 22-year-old escaped violence and a lack of prospects to germany. The people welcomed him, he says. But in 2016, he made his way back home to support his family, as he says. His mother is sick. Now he drives a cab in baghdad, and he got the work through development cooperation. "This is the best job you can get here."
Mustafa mohammed from erbil also hoped for a better life in germany. Eight months he stayed, but did not find this life. The 19-year-old says today that he was neither allowed to work nor to receive an education in germany. "I was still young, a child." He has been back with his family in kurdistan since february. With the support of an aid organization, he now works in a bakery. He does not want to go back to germany for now. "Maybe in a few years, he will go on vacation."
Muller said the counseling offer is not only aimed at returnees, but also at people who have stayed in iraq – to take away the pressure to leave. There are still 2.2 million internally displaced persons in iraq. "A huge challenge," said the CSU minister.
A planned meeting between muller and iraqi prime minister haidar al-abadi in baghdad was canceled at short notice for scheduling reasons. Muller met with al-abadi’s deputy for this purpose. He said he has asked the iraqi government to consistently pursue reforms to improve the investment climate. The german economy must also be involved.
After the three-year battle against the terrorist militia islamic state (IS), large parts of iraq’s infrastructure have been destroyed. The land lies in trummer. More than 70 billion euros are needed for reconstruction, according to the world bank. Germany is the second largest donor to iraq and has pledged 350 million euros in aid to the country this year. The money is to go mainly to emergency aid and infrastructure reconstruction projects. According to the ministry of development, the aid is direct and does not go to the iraqi government.
Iraq, with its huge oil reserves, is actually a rich country. But the low price of oil and widespread corruption stand in the way of a quick recovery. The demise of the IS is also reopening internal conflicts and old wounds.