During a visit to Karbala, the Ambassador of Japan to Iraq confirms support to government efforts for Preventing Violent Extremism in partnership with UNDP

February 21, 2023


Baghdad, Iraq, 21 February 2023 – Today, during a visit to Karbala, His Excellency Mr. Futoshi Matsumoto, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq, met with the Karbala Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Violent Extremism (PVE) headed by the deputy governor, with the presence of the governor, and the head of the national committee for implementation of Iraq’s prevention of violent extremism strategy from the National Security Advisory, with participation of local NGOs. The aim of the meeting was to discuss objectives and progress of the sub-committee’s efforts implemented through support from the United Nations Development Programme in Iraq (UNDP) in partnership with the Government of Japan. 

Supporting the Government of Iraq with strengthening capacities on PVE and ensuring community readiness for reintegration is a priority for the Government of Japan, as part of generous support provided through UNDP’s Support to Social Stability in Iraq through Preventing Violent Extremism Project. The project assists the Government of Iraq to implement its National Strategy to Combat Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism by building institutional capacity at the national and sub-national levels, enhancing community resilience, and promoting viable pathways to reduce violent extremism with focus on women and youth. The project also focuses on improving human security by providing socio-economic and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support to communities in need across several governorates.   

UNDP Iraq Resident Representative, Auke Lootsma, states, “We are grateful to the Government of Japan for our continued work to support the people of Iraq. Through this project we are contributing to enhancing the Government of Iraq’s efforts in expanding on stabilization gains with a preventative approach, ensuring support to a healthy environment and strong social fabric for various communities.” 

His Excellency, Mr. Futoshi Matsumoto, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq, emphasizes, “In fighting extremism, it is critical to continue to promote a message of peace and moderacy. All of us share the importance of the words in al-Hadith: the best thing is found in the middle  ‘خير الأمور أوسطها.’ Japan will continue to support Iraqis to attain a peaceful and prosperous society in cooperation with UNDP.”

Nasif Jassim al-Khattabi, the Governor of Karbala, states, “Today the attendance of His Excellency the Ambassador of Japan to Iraq was very important for our sub-committee meeting. Karbala Governorate works continuously to combat violence that may lead to terrorism in all its forms. Today we express our readiness to adopt any project that will contribute to PVE in Iraq.” 

Ali Abdullah Albedeiri, Chairman of the National Committee on the implementation of the National Strategy to Prevent Violent Extremism, notes, “Today’s activity is part of the national committee’s support to the sub-committee in Karbala, including discussion on upcoming projects in 2023-2024. We believe these projects should be ratified and implemented at the governorate and national level.” 

The Support to Social Stability in Iraq through Preventing Violent Extremism Project is part of UNDP Iraq’s five-year Social Cohesion Programme launched in January 2020 to promote stronger, peaceful, and more cohesive communities in all areas of Iraq. 

Media contact:

Miriam Pineau, Communications Analyst, +964 790 110 1982