U.S. commits $1.5 million to support green Iraqi innovation: USAID

Iraqi men move a boat that was stuck on the banks of the Euphrates River in Twairij, roughly 20 kilometers east of Karbala, on April 8, 2014. (AFP photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The United States has committed $1.5 million to foster innovation and enhance food security in Iraq, the USAID said on Thursday.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said it was proud to announce the launch of the Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge (WE4F) Iraqi Call for innovations.

“The $1.5 million program will support Iraq-based companies working on providing more sustainable water or energy solutions for agriculture,” the USAID said in a statement.

It further said the companies would receive customized support in the form of grants, technical assistance, and investment facilitation to grow their businesses, combat resource scarcity, and foster the transition to a green economy.

“Water scarcity, environmental degradation, inefficient food production methods, unemployment, and protracted conflict all threaten Iraq’s long-term prosperity and stability,” it added.

“Tackling issues related to water, energy, and food is imperative to overcoming these barriers and achieving greater stability. Together with investors and other partners, the MENA RIH works with companies to grow more food while using less water and more sustainable energy sources.”

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