US urges more financial support for Middle East and Africa to confront lurking ISIS threat
ISIS continues to pose a threat in Iraq and Syria despite being considerably weakened in recent year, said US Under Secretary Victoria Jane Nuland.
“This year, we are seeking to raise $700 million for critical stabilization activities in communities liberated from ISIS’ control in Iraq and Syria, $350 million for Iraq and $350 million for Syria,” Nuland said at the opening of the Ministerial Meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in Marrakech this Wednesday.
Over the past year alone, the United States has provided more than $45 million in stabilization assistance for 3 northeast Syria and over $60 million for Iraq, she said. “We urge other donors to also increase their support,” she added.
Although ISIS is retreating in the Middle East, it has been striking elsewhere especially in Africa and central Asia, said the US official.
“We need to remain vigilant to the continued threat it poses elsewhere in the world, especially here on the African continent,” she said.
From the Sahel, where the number of terrorist incidents grew by 43% from 2018 to 2021, to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mozambique, there were nearly 500 ISIS terrorist incidents in 2021 resulting in the deaths of more than 2,900 people throughout Africa, she said.
To help African states strengthen capacities to confront the terrorist threat, the US will spend over $119 million in new assistance in sub-Saharan Africa to improve the capabilities of civilian law enforcement and the judiciary to disrupt, apprehend, prosecute, and convict terrorists across the continent.
The meeting, convened at the invitation of Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is attended by representatives of over 80 countries and international organizations.