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US AID, Hungary to Help Rebuild Business, Social Centers in North Iraq
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SULAIMANI -- The United State Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on Monday (September 30) that it awarded two new grants to communities on the Nineveh Plain as a part of its post-Islamic State reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

The US government has taken a special interest in the welfare of minority groups in Iraq, in particular those who lived under Islamic State occupation.

One grant would help the Bartella Reconstruction Committee to rebuild the Mar Mattai Cultural Center, according to a statement from the US Consulate General in Erbil. USAID said that it hoped that the facility would again become a "social hub for the entire sub-district."

A second grant would go to the Assyrian Aid Society to support local businesses rehabilitate 30 shops in Qaraqosh damaged during the War against Islamic State. This program will be implemented in coordination with the Government of Hungary.

"These grants reflect the strong commitment of the US to work through local and faith-based groups, and partner with other nations such as Hungary to restore Iraq's rich ethnic, religious, and cultural mosaic," said USAID's USAID Special Representative for Minority Assistance Programs in Iraq Max Primorac.

The statement from the consulate general did not say how much funding the grants represented.

The Nineveh Plain was one of the hardest hit during the conflict and the pace of reconstruction has been slow. The thousands of families who were displaced from the area are reluctant to return because of security concerns along with a lack of services or housing.

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