Shopping center in Iraq built by Poles with EU funding

  • Poles from PCPM have built a shopping center near Mosul, the project was financed by the European Union.
  • Local merchants and service providers will be able to start or move their businesses there.
  • Improved living conditions make it easier for people to rebuild their own country without having to migrate

The Telkaif district just north of Mosul until 2003 was inhabited mainly by Christians (Assyrians) and Yazidis. The actions of Islamic militias and the invasion of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014 forced more than 100,000 residents of the region to flee, while the Christian district of Telkaif was destroyed.

In 2018, the PCPM Foundation sent 500 modular homes to devastated Mosul.

Since 2018, the Polish Centre for International Aid Foundation, with funding from the EU (MADAD), has been supporting local authorities in Iraq to manage the refugee crisis. Around Mosul, PCPM is building water and sewage systems, training officials in urban planning, and supporting municipalities to create jobs.

On Tuesday (21 June 2022), PCPM inaugurated a shopping mall in the city of Telkaif that will house local vendors, service providers, and medical services. It is the tallest building in the city (it has 2 floors) and the only one equipped with an elevator. This is a visible sign of support from the European Union and Poland for the local community. The opening ceremony of the Telkaif shopping center built by the PCPM Foundation with EU funds was attended by the governor of Nineveh province, local authorities, and religious leaders, including the Archbishop of Mosul. They all expressed their huge thanks to Poland and the European Union.

The mall building was constructed on the site of the Old Bazaar, which consisted of merchants’ booths in a very poor state of repair, which was demolished to free up space for a trading house. The merchants who operated the Old Bazaar were employees of the municipality. Now the tenants are to be independent and run the business on their own. The tenants will be chosen by a special committee, which will be guided primarily by the criterion of the proposed rent price and the business profile so that the range of services and the assortment of trade is diversified. The condition is that each tenant must be a resident of Telkaif.

The construction of the market is being carried out by PCPM as part of the MASAR project funded by the European Union, which aims to provide development assistance in Lebanon and Iraq. The construction cost is approximately $533,000.

The situation around Mosul has long been calm after coalition forces crushed the militants of the so-called Islamic State. This is the right time to deliver development assistance to northern Iraq. However, the PCPM Foundation’s project in Iraq ends in December, although Poland could remain engaged in this region of the Middle East from where, until recently, migrants came to Poland via Belarus. Polish NGOs, while on the ground, not only provide aid but build an understanding of social processes.

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