Video: Angelina Jolie visits Devastated Mosul

From AFP. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie visits West Mosul, less than a year after the city’s liberation.

The visit marks Jolie’s 61st mission – and her fifth visit to Iraq – with the UN Refugee Agency since 2001.

She arrives in the city on the second day of the Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

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Investment Opportunity: Pharmaceutical Plant in Samarra

By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC), and the State Company for Drugs and Medical Appliances, have announced an opportunity to invest in the rehabilitation, modernization and operation of the Samarra drugs plant.

In a statement, the NIC said:

It invites reliable Arab and foreign companies directly or their agents – not mediator or supported – to participate in this investment opportunity to rehabilitate and modernize this plant on basisof participating in management, production, increasing the production capacities and take pasrt in this valuable opportunity to satisfy the Iraqi market demands and for the economic feasibility and the realizable privileges for the investors such as the availability of the essential materials for production .

“Willing investors can obtain the investment profile from the company HQ in Samarra as per the companies law no. 22 for the year 1997 as amended, article 15/3rd ; for an amount of (500,000) IDR non- refundable.

“The company shall offer all detailed information and facilitate the visit to the plan. Applications shall be according to the terms stated in the investment profile , provided that applications should be submitted by a sealed envelope before the end of the work time of Thursday 12.07.2018.

You may also visit the website

More details can be downloaded here (English from page 43)

(Source: National Investment Commission)

Iraq Humanitarian Fund helps WFP Logistics

The Logistics Cluster, led by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), has welcomed a generous contribution of US$860,000 from the Iraq Humanitarian Fund (IHF). The Cluster facilitates the movement of humanitarian supplies including food, medicines and even ambulances on behalf of the entire humanitarian community in Iraq.

“This contribution is perfectly aligned with the objectives of the IHF, to provide timely and flexible humanitarian funding to enable effective emergency response, increase humanitarian access, and strengthen coordination and partnerships among local and international responders,” said Marta Ruedas, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.

With this contribution, the Logistics Cluster will continue to provide coordination and information management support to the humanitarian community. The Logistics Cluster will also continue to facilitate common storage services for humanitarian supplies at three main operational hubs in Baghdad, Dahuk and Erbil, while maintaining a stock of mobile storage units ready to be deployed and installed at short notice.

“The Logistics Cluster plays a critical role in the Iraq context, offering logistics solutions and technical support to humanitarian partners responding to the needs of highly vulnerable displaced families and returnees,” said Sally Haydock, WFP Representative in Iraq. “We thank the IHF, the Humanitarian Coordinator and donors that have made this timely contribution possible.”

Established in 2015, the Iraq Humanitarian Fund supports humanitarian partners, allowing them to respond to the complex and dynamic situation in the country. IHF allocations have been made possible thanks to generous contributions from the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Ireland, United States, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Canada and Cyprus.

Since 2014, the IHF has provided US$3.5 million in funding to WFP activities in Iraq, including food assistance to internally displaced people and support for the Food Security, Emergency Telecommunications and Logistics Clusters.

As Iraq emerges from four years of conflict and unrest, the entire humanitarian community is providing critical resilience and recovery support for vulnerable communities after years of hardship, conflict and displacement.

(Source: WFP)

Running to Support AMAR’s Work in Iraq

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

Hussein Al-Alak (pictured below) will run the Manchester 10k on Sunday on behalf of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation.

He commented:

It’s the only charity in the United Kingdom that supports health, education and, more importantly, mental health programmes, in Iraq …

“You’ve got a lot of amazing causes [in the race] and it’s nice to be able to say: ‘This is what we’re doing at AMAR’.

You can help AMAR in its essential work in Iraq by donating here.

Running for the Children of Iraq

Bright and early last Saturday morning, runners in the Washington, DC area took off when the starting gun fired.

It was the sixth annual IN THEIR SHOES 5K for Iraq’s most vulnerable children.  This year, for the first time, the US-based 5K was joined by a “sister” 5K in Basra, Iraq, hosted by BP.

Veterans, Iraqi-Americans, diplomats, businesses, children, and families all joined to raise awareness and support for Iraq’s orphans, street kids, and displaced children.  The result?  A record $59,000 was raised to deliver tutoring, legal protection, nutrition, health care, and childhood fun to some of the most vulnerable and at risk kids in Iraq.

Joined by Iraq’s Ambassador to the United States Fareed Yasseen, the three Youth Ambassadors for the 5K – Humoody, Teeba, and Ala’a – served as the faces and voices of children back in Iraq.

Team Teeba won for the largest 5K team with 33 registered, and the Iraqi-American Young Professionals (IAYP) came in second with 23.  Tim Reilly and Veronica Scott took home trophies for first place in the men and women’s division.

Looking for your race time?  Check here.  Pictures of the event?  Check out recent posts and an album on our ICF Facebook page.

The race was followed by an after party with music by Salaam Band, dancing,  and Iraqi food.  Our friends at Old Town’s Casa Rosada Artisan Gelato provided free gelato for everyone, and there was face painting and balloon animals for the kids.  At a table hosted by Kids Giving Hope to Kids, special drawings were made for Hope Bus kids in Baghdad

To each of you who ran or walked, donated or volunteered, the Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF) expresses its deepest appreciation.  Thanks for being a part of the team to deliver love and hope to Iraq’s children!

(Source: ICF)

(Photo credits: George Banker and BP)

Video: AMAR’S Clinic for IDPs in Najaf

From the AMAR International Charitable Foundation.

Baroness Nicholson visits Najaf to mark the continuing success of AMAR’s busy public health clinic:

Please click here to help AMAR in their valuable work in Iraq.

An Urgent Call to Action: Run. Give. Volunteer.

The Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF) has appealed for runners and doners for its annual run in Alexandria, Virginia.

“More than 4 million children have been impacted by extreme violence in several areas including in Ninewa and al-Anbar.  Last year alone, 270 children were killed.  Many were robbed of their childhood, forced to fight on the frontlines.   Some will bear the physical and psychological scars for life due to exposure to unprecedented brutality.  Over 1 million children were forced to leave their homes.”

—       January 19, 2018, Statement by UNICEF Regional Director Geert Cappelaere, after visiting Iraq

During ISIS’ occupation, UNICEF called Iraq “one of the most dangerous places in the world for children.”  Now, after Iraq has driven ISIS from its strongholds, the emotional, psychological, and physical wreckage is staggering.  For everyone who loves Iraqi children, this an urgent call to action.   We call on all to Run. Give. Volunteer. Today.

RUN.  Run or walk – with us at the IN THEIR SHOES 5K  on May 5th.  Tell the world these kids are not forgotten.  We lift them up with our hearts and voices.

GIVE.  GIVE because we can’t hire a teacher or lawyer or social worker, or buy food, school supplies, and clothing without money.

VOLUNTEER.  VOLUNTEER because every volunteer on our team saves ICF money that can go directly to the Iraqi kids we all love.  We salute our 2017 volunteers who donated thousands of hours of loving service!


(Source: ICF)

Former PwC Partner joins AMAR Management Team


Chris Frost, the Chairman of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation’s Finance Committee, has retired from the position after five years at the helm.

Since he began his Chairmanship, Mr Frost has skilfully overseen AMAR’s already excellent financial arrangements.

A frequent visitor to Iraq and the wider Middle East region during his many years as a Partner at the multi-national professional services business, PwC, he has brought enormous experience and vast knowledge to the role.

Mr Frost, who was also a founder Board member of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) – AMAR’s sister organisation, recognised the vital importance of AMAR’s work to the Iraqi people.

However, he will not be leaving the AMAR family. Now that he has fully-retired from PwC, Mr Frost has been asked, and has accepted, a full-time position at the charity.  He will start as Treasurer on April 1st.

Mr Frost’s brief will be to oversee AMAR’s continued growth and development and strengthen the charity’s core principles; Good financial management, transparency, accountability and low administrative costs with high field output to defined, professional world class standards.

AMAR Chairman, Baroness Nicholson, said today that she was “absolutely delighted” to have persuaded Mr Frost to stay within the AMAR family:

People of Chris’s standing in the financial world are not available very often, so we had to strike while the iron was hot. He has done a fantastic job with our Financial Committee over the last five years, so we are very much looking forward to him working here on a full-time basis.”

“Chris will also travel to Basra, Baghdad and the North of Iraq regularly to meet and work with the local financial teams to develop an understanding of their working practices and help them work more effectively and efficiently.

Baroness Nicholson added:

“His particular background also allows us to implement our long-held plan to breakout with new fundraising approaches to funding institutions and city guilds.”

(Source: AMAR)

AMAR Foundation Strenghtens Financial Cmte

The Board of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation is to expand and strengthen its Finance Committee.

It will now be chaired by leading financial businessman and AMAR supporter, Mr Michael Boardman. The present Chairman, Mr Chris Frost is standing down, but will continue to advise AMAR in a different capacity.

Jonathan Ayres, the Chief Financial Officer of United Trust Bank, who has been a member of the committee for the last five years, will also stand down.

Mr Boardman will be joined on the committee by Mr Hadi Damirji, Mr Gavin Wishart, and Mr Siddik Bakir.

AMAR Chairman, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne; Board President, Professor Theodore Zeldin; and Board Vice-Chairman, Damon Parker, will continue in their roles on the committee.

Mr Boardman has more than 25 years’ experience of capital markets, financial management and reporting, valuation and business analysis. For 18 years he worked at Nomura Securities, the global investment banking and investment management company.

As a Managing Director responsible for Emerging Markets and a senior member of Nomura’s Global Finance team in Europe, he advised, structured and executed capital markets transactions and was personally responsible for raising over US$30 billion, in public and private markets.

For the last seven years, he has been Group CFO of Sindicatum Sustainable Resources, a high growth developer, owner and operator of renewable energy projects in the emerging markets of Asia.

Mr Boardman has been a regular speaker at industry events organised by the London Stock Exchange, Micex, Borsa Italiana and Euromoney and has published several articles about listings and public markets.

Mr Wishart, who is also a Board member of AMAR’s sister organisation, the Iraq Britain Business Council, worked at senior level in banking across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and UK during a career spanning 37 years.

Most recently he was Regional Head, Financial Institutions, Europe and Americas at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, and before that was Chief Executive Officer, leading Baghdad, for Standard Chartered Bank.

Mr Damirji founded Optitune Plc in 2001,and is an Executive Board Member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. He was the Deputy Chairman of Trinity Group Ltd from 2007-2012 and CEO of Trinity Strategic Advisors from 2007 to 2008.

Mr Siddik Bakir is a Senior Oil Market Analyst at Saudi Aramco’s Strategy and Market Analysis Department in Saudi Arabia.

Previously, Siddik was based in London where he worked as a Senior Energy Analyst for the Middle East and South Asia and an Upstream Energy Consultant at IHS (IHS Markit).

Commenting on the Financial Committee changes, Baroness Nicholson said today:

You can see from the bio data of the new members that the committee has been hugely strengthened. AMAR has always been rigorous in it financial dealings and we intend that always to be our trademark.”

“We believe we now have a fantastic committee to ensure the Board has the strongest possible financial leadership and support.

(Source: AMAR)

2018 Humanitarian Plans for Iraq Launched

On 6 March, the Government of Iraq as well as the United Nations and its partners launched their 2018 plans for Iraq – the Plan for Relief, Shelter and Stabilization of Displaced People, and the Humanitarian Response Plan.

With the end of large-scale military offensives in late 2017, many families have been returning and are trying to rebuild their lives and homes. As many as two million displaced Iraqis are expected to return in 2018; hence, all efforts must be made to support them in this transition.

This year, approximately, 8.7 million people, nearly half of them children, will require some form of humanitarian assistance.

The Minister of Migration and Displacement said:

The Government’s Plan for Relief, Shelter and Stabilization of Displaced People aims at strengthening the provision of legal protection to internally displaced persons as well as supporting safe returns.

“The plan focuses on supporting returning families with one-off emergency cash assistance to provide the necessities of life, in addition to supporting some basic projects, and continuing to support displaced families with relief items and maintaining the provision of services in camps.

Dr. Mahdi Al-Alaq, the Secretary-General of the Iraqi Council of Ministers, referred to Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi’s directive on providing an appropriate environment for the return of displaced people through the implementation of stabilization projects in the liberated areas.

This affirmed the government’s keenness to return the displaced people voluntarily while ensuring the provision of basic services to people in the areas liberated by Iraq’s Armed Forces from ISIL terrorism.

In 2018, the Humanitarian Community, comprised of UN agencies, national and international NGOs and other partners, is requesting US$569 million through the Humanitarian Response Plan to respond to the needs of 3.4 million of the most vulnerable people in Iraq.

The provision of protection support is paramount. Without such services, families may be unable to return home, or will do so in unsustainable conditions.

Mr. Ramanathan Balakrishnan, the Acting UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, said:

As people return to their areas of origin with a large number of camps in Iraq becoming consolidated or decommissioned during the course of this year, many will need assistance including those who are returning as well as those who are unable to.

“Continued advocacy by the humanitarian community against involuntary or premature returns and strengthening mechanisms with the government authorities for supporting voluntary and safe returns is a key component of the 2018 humanitarian response plan.

The Government of Iraq and the humanitarian community in Iraq will continue to coordinate humanitarian assistance to better respond to the needs and challenges faced by displaced people and returnees across the country. The humanitarian operations will be conducted in close collaboration with the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Overviews of the Humanitarian Response Plan, in Arabic and English, can be found in our Reports Section.

(Source: UN)