Iraq Public Works News


Turkey appoints Special Envoy for Water Affairs with Iraq

By John Lee.

Turkey has reportedly appointed a special envoy to Iraq to resolve the water sharing issues between the two countries.

According to Daily Sabah, former Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroğlu (pictured), who will take up the post, pointed to the “inefficient” use of water resources in Iraq, saying “Turkey will share its experience and know-how in the efficient management of water with the Iraqis.

He added that Turkey will try to ensure an equitable share of water from the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers.

More here.

(Source: Daily Sabah)

$2m to Launch of Mosul Heritage Stabilization Program

Cultural Property Consultants (CPC) and the University of Pennsylvania Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) have been awarded a $2 million grant to launch the Mosul Heritage Stabilization Program (MHSP).

MHSP seeks to assist Iraqis in the preservation and protection of cultural heritage by contributing to the maintenance and promotion of cultural memory, identity, diversity, and freedom of expression in an effort to mitigate the effects of genocide, cultural cleansing, and prolonged conflict in northern Iraq.

Funding for the 40-month project comes from a Department of State Cooperative Agreement, S-NEAAC-18-CA-0043, under the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation and is a part of a larger $300 million USAID and Department of State initiative to support Iraqi communities after the war against the Islamic State (ISIS).

Richard L. Zettler is Project Director and an associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also associate curator-in-charge of Penn Museum’s Near East Section. Michael Danti serves as Project Manager and Allison Cuneo is Project Coordinator. Ali Jubbouri, former dean of the University of Mosul’s College of Archaeology, is the Iraq Team Coordinator. MHSP partners include Mosul University College of Engineering, Consultancy for Conservation and Development, and EAMENA.

(Sources: Cultural Property Consultants, University of Pennsylvania)

Cash-for-Work Project in Halabja

Cash-for-Work project in Halabja paves a safer and easier road to school for local children

42 host community members, IDPs and refugees employed to restore roads and walkways that will enable safe access to schools and markets for families in Halabja.

To neighbours in the communities of Azadi and Sirwan, in northern Iraq, paved roads mean much more than improved accessibility for cars. Once loose dust and rock, the road network connecting homes and markets posed a hazard for children during the regions season of heavy rainfall.

“They had to put those plastic bags and boots which was especially difficult for the kids to go to school,” described 15-year-old Shahad, an IDP from Baghdad.

“Especially in this area in winter we have a high rate of rainfall. And the land here was agricultural land before – so when it rains, it becomes mud, also posing health-hazards for pedestrians,” added Mr. Omed Noori Hama-Salih, Supervising Engineer, Municipality of Sirwan Subdistrict.

UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) recently supported a project that would enable the Governorate of Halabja to restore this essential basic service.

Following the launch in September, 42 individuals (host community members, internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees) received temporary employment opportunities to work on the project as engineers, labourers and administrative support.

This project is one of 28 that were made possible with generous funding from the Federal Government of Germany, supporting the construction and restoration of critical services such as sewerage, electricity, water and roads for some 680,000 people across the Sulaimaniyah & Halabja Governorates and Raparin & Garmiyan Administrations, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

In Azadi and Sirwan, IDPs, refugees and host community members are working together to improve the road and walkway networks for the benefit of all 1,500 community members. “In the past years, this was muddy and all children could not go to school easily and people could not go to do their services and visit market, but now when it will be paved of course it will ease our lives,” said Mr. Othman Aziz, a resident since 1978. “We consider that we will be having a new life because then our kids can go to school easily and our families will have an easy and nice access road to go and run their daily lives.”

Since 2014, Halabja Governorate has become host to more than 653 refugees and 7,177 IDPs, leaving their homes to find safety and security. Today, the pressure to ensure the provision of basic infrastructure and services is intensified by severe financial crisis, ultimately affecting the quality of life in the region for the host communities, as well as the IDPs and refugees they host.

In Azadi and Sirwan, IDPs, refugees and host community members are working together to improve the road and walkway networks for the benefit of all 1,500 community members. “In the past years, this was muddy and all children could not go to school easily and people could not go to do their services and visit market, but now when it will be paved of course it will ease our lives,” said Mr. Othman Aziz, a resident since 1978.

“We consider that we will be having a new life because then our kids can go to school easily and our families will have an easy and nice access road to go and run their daily lives.”

Since 2014, Halabja Governorate has become host to more than 653 refugees and 7,177 IDPs, leaving their homes to find safety and security. Today, the pressure to ensure the provision of basic infrastructure and services is intensified by severe financial crisis, ultimately affecting the quality of life in the region for the host communities, as well as the IDPs and refugees they host.

(Source: UNDP)

France gives EUR 500k for Sustainable Livelihood

The Government of France has contributed US$568,690 (€500,000) to UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) to promote recovery and resilience-building in areas liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The funding will help improve access to income-generating opportunities for 200 vulnerable returnees in Sinjar and Hamdaniya – where returnee numbers are high – through small business grants and saving schemes, as well as professional training programmes.

In an effort to ensure sustainability, the contribution also bolsters ICRRP’s work with national chambers of commerce to build their capacities to respond to future crises.

During a signature ceremony to launch the new project, the French Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Bruno Aubert welcomed Ambassador Eric Chevallier, Director of CDCS (Centre de crise et de soutien) in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who highlighted that:

“this project is well aligned with both French and Iraqi priorities for stabilization. Targeting the improvement of the conditions for the safe return of IDPs in areas strongly affected by ISIL occupation, the provision of immediate livelihood and employment opportunities – in particular for youth and women – is a key step toward more resiliency and sustainability for these communities.”

Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Ms. Marta Ruedas, added,

“UNDP will support the financial empowerment of individuals to help alleviate the pressure on public finance, whilst at the same time creating a diverse business environment that will enable long-term economic growth.”

Many areas of Ninewa have experienced extensive damage to public and private infrastructure and with the effects of long-term displacement are now experiencing a lack of diverse livelihood opportunities, often exacerbated by prevailing security threats.

ICRRP is part of the  Recovery and Resilience Programme (RRP) that was launched at the  Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq earlier this year. In this context, the Government of France support will contribute to the RRP results area of expanding livelihoods opportunities in Iraq.

UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) promotes the recovery and resilience of communities vulnerable to multi-dimensional shocks associated with large-scale returns and protracted displacement of Iraqis and Syrian refugees.

This is achieved through medium-term programming, integrating crisis management capacity building, rehabilitating basic service infrastructure, livelihood recovery and social cohesion.

(Source: UNDP)

IOM Responds to Flooding in Iraq

Large-scale flooding beginning on the morning of Friday (23/11) has wreaked havoc across Iraq, killing several people and causing widespread damage to homes, infrastructure and agriculture, and worsening the living conditions of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

In Ninewa governorate, Qayarrah Airstrip and Jeddah IDP camps were particularly affected by the flooding. Among the approximately 7,500 families residing in Qayarrah Airstrip Camp, 2,392 tents were completely flooded forcing hundreds of households to take refuge in the IOM health clinic and other communal areas.

The health clinic in Qayarrah Airstrip Camp hosted nearly 300 individuals, providing IDPs with dry blankets, heaters and emergency health care services. The IOM ambulance transported ten individuals in need of medical assistance but unable to reach the clinic.

“We haven’t been able to sleep at all because we don’t have a dry spot to sit. The water level was knee-deep inside our tent. Now all of our belongings, everything we desperately need this winter, have been ruined by the mud left after the flood.

“We had to put our children on the roof of the communal kitchen to get them out of the mud. Even the food and grains we had stored are drenched. We are in desperate need of dry clothes, mattresses, blankets, fuel and food,” said Kamel Hussein, a resident of Qayarrah Airstrip Camp.

Within hours of the flooding, IOM immediately deployed its Rapid Assessment and Response Team and assessed the damage and needs in the camps. The Organization employed over 600 camp residents to clear the drainage channels, ensuring the flow of water out of the camp, and to repair the damaged road to restore access to camps, thereby allowing humanitarian assistance to reach the most vulnerable displaced persons.

IOM, in coordination with camp management entities, Representative for Ninewa Voluntary Displaced Organization (RNVDO) and Danish Refugee Council (DRC), immediately began distributing hundreds of kits to the most affected families.

Since Friday, more than 3,150 basic non-food item kits have been delivered to households in Qayarrah Airstrip and Jeddah consisting of mattresses, bedsheets, plastic sheeting, a solar lamp, rechargeable light, gas cooker, jerry can and kitchen set. Support for the kits was provided by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Government of Germany.

“The rain and subsequent flooding experienced throughout Iraq over the past weekend has worsened the living conditions of the most vulnerable populations, including displaced households residing in camps. The flooding has highlighted the importance of humanitarian actors maintaining operational capacity in Iraq to scale up emergency assistance in the event of disaster,” said Gerard Waite, Chief of Mission of IOM Iraq.

With more rain expected over the coming days, IOM remains ready to respond to the arising needs and will continue to work closely with the Government of Iraq’s Ministry of Migration and Displacement and other humanitarian partners to ensure a timely and effective response to those most affected.

(Source: IOM)

260+ attend IBBC Iraq Reconstruction Conference

IBBC welcomed 260+ delegates to Dubai to discuss ‘Iraq – Reconstruction & Rebuilding, how to deliver Vision’ with expert Industry, Government and International Organisations on 25th November

Iraq Britain Business Council held its annual Autumn Conference in Dubai yesterday on the 25th November at the Address Dubai Marina in Dubai.

The event hosted many speakers from the major companies operating in Iraq including IOCs, Logistics, Finance and Legal and Infrastructure, as well as Government Officials from the UK, UAE, Iraq, The World Bank and IMF to discuss the key issues facing Iraq’s economy today. IBBC welcomed over 260 delegates at the event for its largest ever attendance.

Under the Chairmanship of Vikas Handa, IBBC Representative in the UAE, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq opened the conference alongside H.E. Abdulla Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade & Industry Professor Sabah Mushatat, Prime Minister’s Advisor for Reconstruction and Investment. H.E. Bengan Rikani, Iraqi Minister for Housing, Reconstruction & Public Municipalities, Government of the Republic of Iraq. Michael Townshend, Regional President BP Middle East and Jon Wilks CMG, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq.

HE Abdulla Ahmed Al Saleh

IBBC was honoured to have HE Abdulla alSaleh give a keynote speech at the IBBC Conference in Dubai for the third year running, His Excellency reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to building a diverse and prosperous Iraq as per the IBBC’s mission statement. Professor Mushatat delivered a message from the Prime Minister of Iraq H.E. Adil Abdul-Mahdi delivering the PMs support for the development of the Private Sector and Foreign Enterprise in Iraq and complimenting IBBC as a trusted partner to achieve these goals.

H.E. Bengan Rikani spoke of the challenges ahead to meet the population growth of Iraq, the continuing efforts to rebuild liberated areas and the infrastructure projects underway. Ambassador Jon Wilks highlighted the importance of Iraq to the British economy, where trade has increased by 10% in the last year alone and stressed the commitment of PM Theresa May, Liam Fox MP Secretary of State for International Trade and DFID to facilitating Trade between the UK & Iraq.

“Now is the time to look again at the Iraq Market”
Her Majesty’s Ambassador Jon Wilks CMG

Michael Townshend reminded the audience that there was more Oil available globally than humanity could consume and that the Rumaila’s oilfield operated by BP in Iraq was not only one of the largest but also one of the most economic fields in the globe, providing Iraq with the lion share of its incomes.

Michael Townshend, BP

This year’s Agenda focused on the key issues of how Iraq can rebuild its towns and cities and develop its economy and evolving Infrastructure and Utilities with an emphasis on expanding Oil & Gas production, improving the Regulatory Framework and Financial systems and exploring the role of Logistics in moving people and materials into and around the country.

Conference Sessions & Speakers:

Logistics – Imports/Exports, People & Goods

Beverley Simpson, Director – Iraq, Department of International Trade; Rolls-Royce; SKA International Group; Basrah Gateway Terminal; G4S

Regulatory & Financial Framework – Encouraging International Investment

Management Partners; Dr Sabah Mushatat, Investment & Reconstruction Advisor to the Prime Minister of Iraq; National Bank of Iraq; IMF; AFC Iraq Fund; Eversheds-Sutherland

Energy – Increasing Production

Shell; Chevron; GE

Infrastructure – Rebuilding & Utilities Supply

IFC; Wood; EAMES; Siemens; Prof. Frank Gunter, Lehigh University

Ms Duha Mohammed, Capital Bank of Iraq

The conference also featured the highly successful roundtable discussions, where delegates engaged in dynamic and concentrated debates on the country issues which matter most. Delegates also enjoyed a pre-conference reception on 24th November at the Address Dubai Marina, as well as many networking opportunities throughout the event.

IBBC would like to thank the efforts of its sponsors Rolls Royce, Serco, SKA International Group, Siemens, GE, Basra Gateway Terminal and Khudairi Group.

IBBC also held a Tech Forum on 25th November under the Chairmanship of IBBC Marketing Consultant Ashley Goodall. The forum ran in parallel to the conference at the same venue. Some of the most important innovators of Tech in Iraq spoke on Fintech, the Consumer Economy, E-Government and the Start-Up Economy. Speakers included representatives from EY Iraq, Avaya, Citi Bank, Restrata Group, Microsoft, Khudairi Group, VentureSouq, Careem and the International Development Bank.

IBBC is particularly grateful to Ms Suha Mohammed, DG for payments at the Iraqi Central Bank, and to Mr Hiwa Afandi, DG of the Information Technology Department of the Kurdistan Regional Government for participating in this event.

Tech companies are already disrupting the heavily state dominated Iraqi economy and are the bearers of hope for tangible change in a country that has an extremely young and tech savvy population and has an urgent need to create hundred of thousands new jobs every year.

For any enquires please email london@webuildiraq.org

(Source: IBBC)

Basra’s Poisonous Water Demands Int’l Action

By Glada Lahn and Nouar Shamout, for Chatham House.

Violent protests erupted in Basra this summer in response to the deterioration of public services. At the centre of the unrest is a water supply crisis which Iraq can only solve with regional and international cooperation.

In August, frustrations over crippled public services, drought and unemployment in Al-Basra governorate boiled over.

The acute cause was a water contamination crisis. By the end of October, hospital admissions of those suffering from poisoning exceeded 100,000 according to health officials.

Crops and animals in the rural areas have been severely affected by lack of water and current levels of salinity, with thousands migrating to Basra city.

Click here to read the full story.

New Funds from US for UNHCR Iraq

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, warmly welcomes the generous 2018 contributions from the Government of the United States of America, which reached a cumulative total of US$ 128.8 million for Syrian refugees and internally displaced Iraqis.

With the support of donors like the United States, UNHCR can continue to provide assistance to the millions of people who are still in need in Iraq.

While the country recovers from conflict, the needs of Iraqis diversify. Even as cities are rebuilt and communities begin to flourish, approximately two million people, many of them extremely vulnerable, are still displaced.

An essential component of the protection of displaced people is voluntary, safe, and sustainable return, which in turn is at the heart of the recovery and stabilization of Iraq. Sustainable return is an important step on the road to peace and stability.

Cities like Mosul and Ramadi were heavily damaged during the conflict. Restoring these cities is an immense task, and the work is far from over. In parts of West Mosul, Sinjar, the Ninewa Plains, and Anbar, rubble is not yet cleared of explosives and services like water and electricity are not fully functional. In such instances, conditions for sustainable return are not yet met. It is of the utmost importance that assistance for displaced Iraqis continues to avoid premature returns to these areas, which could result in further displacement.

At the same time, the communities hosting displaced people also face increased hardship, and resources are stretched. Without ongoing support, many among the displaced and hosting population would struggle to make ends meet. U.S. Ambassador Douglas Silliman commented: “The United States is deeply committed to providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to refugees in Iraq and Syria… [The U.S. Government] contribution will assist those who are not yet able to return home voluntarily, safely, and with dignity.”

“A year since the end of large-scale fighting in Iraq, our work is far from over,” said Bruno Geddo, UNHCR Representative in Iraq. “The wounds inflicted by years of conflict on people and communities will take a long time to heal. Major efforts are underway by the authorities, UN agencies and partners to support displaced Iraqis as they return. Rebuilding Iraq is not just about bricks and mortar, but the coming together of cohesive and inclusive communities, which will take time. With the extraordinary support of donors like the United States, UNHCR will continue to stand with the people of Iraq until the job is done.”

(Source: UN)

Aligning Development Plans with Sustainable Development Goals

Promoting the alignment of development plans with the Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in partnership with the Ministry of Planning in Baghdad and the Ministry of Planning in Kurdistan region, organized two consecutive workshops to review and discuss the alignment of plans and policies with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and identify priorities.

This initiative comes at a particular juncture, as Iraq will be presenting its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) report at the High-Level Political Forum in 2019 to share about its experience with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

The Government of Iraq, with support from multiple development partners, has engaged in developing new strategies and plans to meet the challenges of transitioning from a crisis context to sustainable development. The Government of Iraq has prepared the National Development Plan (NDP 2018-2022) with the support of UNDP and other UN Agencies; it also developed a Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) with the purpose of targeting the most vulnerable groups, especially in most deprived and peripheral areas; as well as a Reconstruction and Development Framework (2018-2027).

The Government has also engaged in developing a ‘Vision 2030’ that is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDGs and identifies and addresses medium and long-term strategic development priorities.

The two-day workshop (October 3-4, 2018) organized in Baghdad engaged over 60 professionals and representatives from different ministries and civil society organizations on assessing and discussing alignment of the National Development Plan (2018-2022) and Iraq draft Vision 2030 with the SDGs targets and indicators. In Erbil, the two-day workshop (October 7-8, 2018) was attended by 20 representatives from different ministries and discussed the alignment of KRI Vision 2020 (Kurdistan Region of Iraq: A Vision for the future) as well as the Kurdistan Region Government’s new Economic Reform Roadmap from an SDG lens.

During the workshops, experts from UNDP Regional Hub, Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development Team in Amman (Dr. Nathalie Milbach Bouché, Team Leader, and Mr. Fekadu Terefe, Specialist) familiarized participants with UNDP Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA), a tool which has now been used by more than 60 countries to assess the level of alignment between the SDGs targets and indicators and national priorities in existing policy and planning frameworks at national and sub-national levels.

The experts presented preliminary findings of the RIA of the National Development Plan (2018-2022) of Iraq and the draft Vision 2030 of Iraq, as well as the Vision 2020 of Kurdistan Region of Iraq. These initial findings suggest a significant degree of alignment between the strategic priorities of Iraq and KRI existing Visions, plans, SDGs and targets, including a significant focus on people and prosperity issues, as well as effective and accountable institutions (SDG 16). However, some gaps, including inclusion and environmental sustainability issues deserve attention, alongside efforts to strengthen the availability of monitoring indicators.

Group sessions were organized to discuss these findings, allowing participants to both deepen their knowledge of the SDGs and help them connect their own plans and work with the SDGs through the RIA. The exercise also proved critical in raising awareness about SDG implementation responsibilities and needs to strengthen inter-sectoral coordination. In Bagdad, participants were also introduced to various methodologies for SDG target prioritization, which stressed the need to consider inter-linkages between the SDGs and targets when setting priorities for SDG action.

The Deputy Minister of the Planning, Iraq – Baghdad, Dr. Mahar Jawhan, has said that “we commend the effort of UNDP in supporting the government in launching the Iraq Vision 2030 and preparing the voluntary national report (VNR) at the High-level Political Forum to be submitted in 2019”. In addition to that, the representative of UNDP – Baghdad, Sundus Abass, has mentioned that “aligning of the SDGs Goals, Targets, and Indicators with the Iraq National Development Plan 2030 is our roadmap to implement the SDGs agenda in Iraq”.

As a follow-up to the workshops, the preliminary findings from the RIAs will be further validated and consolidated by national and KRG stakeholders across sectors, also in light of other strategic documents. Findings will be disseminated and used to further harmonize Iraqi National Vision 2030 with the SDGs. In KRI, these shall contribute to informing the formulation of an updated Vision for KRI that is aligned with SDGs. The analysis shall also help Iraq showcase how the country has gone about integrating the SDGs in its core policy and planning frameworks during the country’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) Report at the 2019 UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF).

(Source: UNDP)

12 Projects to Improve Essential Services in Iraq

The Federal Republic of Germany, UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP), along with the administrative authorities of Halabja and Sulaimaniyah Governorates and Garmiyan and Raparin Administrations today initiated 12 projects to improve essential services for an estimated 680,000 people.

The projects target critical needs in the electricity, water, roads, and sewerage sectors and provide jobs for 819 people – including host community members, Syrian refugees and IDPs.

At the ceremony to launch the projects, the Deputy Governor of Sulaimaniyah, H.E Mr. Ahmed Ali Ahmed, said:

“Today we are signing agreements with UNDP to launch infrastructure projects with a total budget of close to US $2.5 million across Sulaimaniyah Governorate and Garmiyan and Raparin Administrations. This generous support from the Federal Republic of Germany, and collaboration with UNDP, comes as the KR-I continues to suffer from a severe economic crisis that began in 2013.

“Many challenges and increased pressure due to the large number of IDPs and refugees who are settling in the Kurdistan Region will be addressed through these fundamental basic-services projects, including improved electricity, water, roads, and sewerage systems.”

The Deputy Governor of Halabja, H.E Mr. Kawa  Ali Kareem, added:

“On behalf of the inhabitants of Halabja Governorate, including the IDPs, refugees and host communities, the office of Governor of Halabja expresses sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Federal Republic of Germany and UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) for supporting implementation of four important basic services projects that will improve internal roads and sewerage systems.

“Implementation of these infrastructure projects will benefit close to 107,000 community members and create over 255 temporary job opportunities in Halabja alone.”

The construction of effective wastewater and sewerage networks across Sulaimaniyah City, Qaladiza, Hajiawa and Khurmal Sub-Districts, and Hawari-New Neighbourhood in Kifri City, will reduce environmental pollution and the spread of diseases amongst vulnerable populations during periods of high rainfall. In Sulaimaniyah City, the construction of an electricity distribution network will provide regular electricity supply to hospitals, schools, and water supply stations – benefitting the whole community.

In 2018, with continuous funding from the Federal Republic of Germany, ICRRP and governorate authorities in the Kurdistan Region or Iraq have supported 28 projects benefiting over 1,240,121 host community members, IDPs and refugees and providing livelihood opportunities for 1,273 individuals.

UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) promotes the recovery and resilience of communities vulnerable to multi-dimensional shocks associated with large-scale returns and protracted displacement of Iraqis and Syrian refugees.  This is achieved through a medium-term, programming integrating crisis management capacity building, rehabilitating basic service infrastructure, livelihood recovery and social cohesion.

(Source: UNDP)