UN Development Programme (UNDP)


KRG efforts to Simplify Access to Govt Services

Key Ministers and officials from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I) alongside representatives of the private sector, civil society, labour unions, the international community, donors and development agencies convened at a high-level conference yesterday in Erbil on E-Governance and Public Service Centres.

The Ministry of Interior of the KR-I organized the conference under the auspices of the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, H.E. Mr. Nechirvan Barzani, and with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The conference examined progress on efforts of the Ministry of Interior to simplify citizens’ access to basic government administrative services, such as the e-visa and the new drivers’ licence renewal system, through online electronic platforms that can be used also from the convenience of their homes.

This comes under a project entitled E-Governance for Better Service Delivery that the Ministry launched in March 2017, with help from UNDP, aiming to improve the responsiveness, transparency, and accountability of its delivery of quality administrative services to the public. To that end, the project promotes the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), including computer-aided platforms that can also be accessed remotely through the internet.

“The Ministry of Interior is committed to providing the quickest high-quality services to the citizens,” emphasized the Minister of Interior, Mr. Kareem Sinjari. “This will not only save considerable time and money for the citizens and Ministry alike, but it will help address potential administrative and financial corruption as well.”

Funding Facility for Stabilization Q3 Report

By the end of the third quarter of 2017, UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) was undertaking 1,208 projects in 23 cities across five governorates in Iraq.

Over one quarter of the projects were being implemented in the city of Mosul, which was fully liberated in July 2017. The liberation of all of Mosul marked an important milestone in the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), representing the biggest city to have been retaken by the Iraqi Security Forces as well as the most complex stabilization challenge to date.

Mosul’s road to recovery has only begun, especially in West Mosul where the destruction is unprecedented. Access to all portions of the city on the western side remains a challenge in some parts, especially the Old City which was almost completely destroyed.

The Funding Facility is working with the Government of Iraq to prioritize the response, focusing on restarting public services and setting the conditions for people to come home with dignity.

In a dozen cities where FFS is cleared to work, many basic services are now functioning. From Ramadi and Fallujah to Tikrit and Qayara, returnees have much improved access to water, health, and electricity services. Schools are being reopened and university campuses are bustling with students.

Whilst a colossal amount of work remains to be done, there is palpable progress being made. Nearly 900 projects completed or ongoing in FFS areas outside of Mosul are helping create the sense that there is momentum and the Government of Iraq is helping returnees.

Governorates that have been liberated for over a year are beginning to transition from immediate stabilization to expanded stabilization priorities. In Anbar, Salah al-Din, and Diyala, expanded stabilization projects that were being designed and procured are increasingly being implemented.

Twenty-four donors have contributed US$ 426,611,814 as of 30 September 2017, and approximately $300,000,000 in hard pledges are expected to be mobilized in the fourth quarter of 2017. This report provides an overview of all FFS activities underway during the third quarter, which encompasses 1 July – 30 September 2017.

Highlights

  • In Mosul, 350 projects are being implemented or developed, 250 schools were assessed, and water has been restored to 300,000 residents in East Mosul
  • In the Ninewah Plains, 45 schools were completed or being rehabilitated. Work on the Hamdaniyah Hospital, the first Expanded Stabilization project in the Ninewah Plains, is underway
  • Two major bridges in Anbar were reopened, and another five are being implemented
  • Housing rehabilitation in Fallujah and Ramadi targeted over 6,000 homes
  • Five segments of the Tikrit Teaching Hospital are complete; the rehabilitation of the main building will begin soon

The full report can be downloaded here (7.6MB)

(Source: UNDP)

New Career Opportunities in Iraq

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

New Zealand gives another $1m for Iraq Stabilization

The Government of New Zealand has contributed an additional US$1 million to UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), which finances fast-track initiatives in areas liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This brings the New Zealand’s total contribution to FFS to $2 million to date.

Based on priorities identified by the Government of Iraq and local authorities, FFS helps quickly repair public infrastructure, provides grants to small businesses, boosts the capacity of local government, promotes civil engagement, and provides short-term employment through public works schemes.

UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, said:

“The scale of destruction in western Mosul is the worst in the country. The electricity, water and sewage systems all need to be rehabilitated. Many schools and hospitals are either damaged or completely destroyed. Tens of thosuands of people need jobs. With so much to do, we are very grateful to New Zealand for stepping forward with this contribution at this key point in time.”

The Chargé d’Affaires for the New Zealand Embassy in Iraq, Ms. Anna Reid, said:

New Zealand congratulates the Iraqi people, the Iraqi Security Forces and the International Coalition on their ongoing success in defeating ISIL. Restoring core services and infrastructure is crucial to ensuring that people displaced by the conflict are able to return to their homes and communities.

“This further contribution to the Funding Facility for Stabilization, alongside our support to building capacity in the Iraqi Security Forces, demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to support stability in Iraq.”

Established in June 2015, FFS is working in newly liberated areas in Anbar, Salah al-Din, Ninewah, Diyala and Kirkuk Governorates. More than 1,200 projects are completed or being implemented across 23 locations. Since the start of the crisis, over 2.2 million people have returned to their homes.

(Source: UNDP)

Three-year Strategic Plan for Basra Oil and Gas

Provincial Council of Basra formulates strategic plan to contribute to effective management of the oil and gas sector

The southern Governorate of Iraq, Basra, now has a three-year strategic plan for oil and gas.

As a key pillar of Basra’s economy, this industry is supposed to employ thousands of workers and generate billions of dollars of revenue each year. Unfortunately, the industry is falling short of its expected developmental goals.

It has been assessed that the industry’s performance can be boosted through sound management and improved capacity and expertise. The Provincial Council of Basra is seeking to address this issue, in part, with its Committee for Oil and Gas.

Highlights

  • Starting November 2016, UNDP worked closely with the Committee for Oil and Gas to develop the strategic plan
  • Amongst objectives of the plan is to generate employment, whilst considering related social and environmental impacts
  • The industry’s performance can be boosted through sound management and improved capacity and expertise

To this end, the Committee has formulated a strategic plan with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This support was channeled under the Basra Compact agreement signed between UNDP and the Governorate of Basra in 2015 to provide the Governorate with technical assistance in major thematic areas, including strategic planning.

Starting November 2016, UNDP worked closely with the Committee for Oil and Gas to develop the strategic plan. In July 2017, the Provincial Council of Basra endorsed the first draft, and approved the final version for printing in September 2017. Hundreds of copies were distributed to relevant stakeholders in October 2017.

Chairman of the Committee for Oil and Gas, Mr. Ali Shaddad Al Fares, said:

“We believe in the importance of strategic planning to achieve comprehensive, sustainable development in all aspects of life. Given that oil and gas are the most important sources of Iraq’s national wealth at the present time, the Committee for Oil and Gas had to follow a scientific methodology in planning for the future of Basra.”

Italy contributes $2.7m to Stabilization in Iraq

The Government of Italy has contributed an additional US$2.7 million (€2.4 million) to UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), which finances fast-track initiatives in areas liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This brings Italy’s total contribution to FFS to almost US$10.6 million (€9.4 million) to date.

Based on priorities identified by the Government of Iraq and local authorities, FFS helps quickly repair public infrastructure, provides grants to small businesses, boosts the capacity of local government, promotes civil engagement, and provides short-term employment through public works schemes.

UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, said:

“Stabilizing newly liberated areas is one of the highest priorities in Iraq. Already, more than 2.2 million people have returned to their homes. This is good news, but a lot more needs to be done, particularly in western Mosul and the Ninewah Plains. Italy’s contribution will help us to accelerate our work in these areas. We are very grateful for this support.”

Italy’s Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Marco Carnelos, said:

“As the fight against Da’esh is coming at its end, it is critical to sustain Iraqi efforts for the rehabilitation of the areas that have been liberated, in order to allow IDPs to return to their homes and to enhance their resilience. Italy is a staunch supporter of humanitarian activities undertaken both bilaterally and through UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization. This third contribution is a further testimony of Italy’s commitment in supporting this crucial stabilization work to help the Iraqi people.”

Established in June 2015, FFS is working in newly liberated areas in Anbar, Salah al-Din, Ninewah, Diyala and Kirkuk Governorates. Nearly 1,200 projects are completed or being implemented across 23 locations. Since the start of the crisis, over 2.2 million people have returned to their homes.

(Source: UNDP in Iraq)

Reconstruction of Mosul Discussed with Key Partners

Planning Prospects for the Reconstruction and Recovery of Mosul Discussed with Key Partners

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), under the patronage of the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, hosted a seminar in Baghdad to discuss Planning Prospects for the Reconstruction and Recovery of Mosul.

The event gathered a wide range of partners, including the national and local government counterparts, United Nations agencies, donors, NGOs, academic institutions, and media.

Mr. Bashar Kiki, Head of Ninewa Governorate Council, stated that the lack of good planning in Mosul is causing a ‘chaos’, and now is the time to put an end to it by ensuring coordination among all relevant actors.

Mr. Kiki also discussed about the link between urban development and human development, underlining the importance of incorporating the view of the local population. “The people of Mosul are very resourceful,” he remarked, “we have to see how they already cope with the crises, and support them in their efforts where possible… It is important to build trust between local people and local government through transparency and accountability”.

Ms. Lise Grande, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, assured that the United Nations is committed to help Mosul through the Stabilization Programme of UNDP and the contributions of other UN agencies, and she referred to the Recovery and Resilience Programme (RRP) to be presented at the upcoming conference in Kuwait and UN-Habitat’s new data portal to support planning and implementation of the RRP.

Dr. Muzahim Al Khyatt, President of Ninewa University and Coordinator of the Reconstruction for Mosul, presented the overview of challenges faced by Mosul and sub-urban areas, and emphasized the importance of strategic planning and collaborating with the private sector.

Drawing on previous planning experiences in conflict-affected areas, Mr. Rogier van den Berg, Project Leader of UN-Habitat’s Urban Planning and Design Lab, clarified that strategic planning has the potential to accelerate decision making, and coordinate parallel processes, such as the long process of the restoration of the Old City, and defining key projects that need to be realized on the short term.

During the panel discussion, Mr. Mostaffa Elhiti, Head of the Reconstruction Fund, reiterated the need of finding new ways of planning in the city, stressing the need for a dynamic and strategic plan to respond to the needs in Mosul quickly.

(Source: United Nations Human Settlements Programme)

Korea’s Support is Helping Iraqi Returnees

The Government of the Republic of Korea and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a partnership agreement today for US$4 million to support stabilization and recovery in newly liberated areas in Iraq.

Korea’s contribution will be channeled through UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), which finances fast-track initiatives in areas retaken from ISIL. This is Korea’s fourth contribution since 2015 to FFS.

Based on priorities identified by the Government of Iraq and local authorities, FFS helps quickly repair public infrastructure, provides grants to small businesses, boosts the capacity of local government, and provides short-term employment through public works schemes.

During a signing ceremony held in Baghdad, UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, said:

“Stabilizing Mosul is the biggest stabilization challenge we have faced. There are 366 stabilization projects already underway in the city, but so much more needs to be done. This generous contribution from the Republic of Korea will help us accelerate our work in western Mosul. The level of destruction in this part of the city is the worst in the country.”

H.E. the Korean Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Song Woong-Yeob, said,

“The Republic of Korea is deeply committed to supporting efforts of the Iraqi Government and the international community to stabilize areas affected by the violence of ISIL. I firmly believe that our fourth contribution will further help the efforts by imbuing affected Iraqis with hope and empowering them to recover and start the process of rebuilding their communities.”

UNDP’s Funding Facility is implementing over 1,200 initiatives in newly liberated areas of Anbar, Salah al-Din, Ninewah, and Diyala.

(Source: UNDP in Iraq)

New Career Opportunities in Iraq

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

EU Steps Up Assistance for Stabilisation of Iraq

The European Commission has adopted a €60.4 million stabilisation package to support Iraq after the liberation of areas held by Da’esh, with the country still facing humanitarian, security, stabilisation and reconciliation challenges.

This new funding comes in addition to EU humanitarian aid in the country and other forms of financial assistance that now total €608.4 million since the beginning of the crisis.

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini (pictured) said:

“At this important juncture in Iraq history, we stand at the side of the Iraqi people and authorities who have shown courage and resilience in their fight against Da’esh. Today more than ever, the EU is present to assist them in building their post-Da’esh future.

“We are and will continue to be active on the political, humanitarian, security and development sides to help stabilising the liberated areas. This is a pre-condition for reconciliation, for the return of the many internally displaced who are eager to come back and for the longer term stability in Iraq.”

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said:

The liberation of Mosul and other areas previously occupied by Da’esh is a first step towards peace. The EU has been supporting the needs of millions of Iraqis and will not stop there. They can also count on EU assistance for the further stabilisation and development efforts of their country.”

The stabilisation package includes €50.4 million help to restore basic services, repair essential public infrastructure, as well as to reactivate economic activity through grants to small businesses. This will be done through the UNDP Funding Facility for Stabilisation, which is working in newly retaken areas in Anbar, Salah al-Din, Kirkuk, Ninewah and Diyala Governorates. Thanks to more than 1,200 projects, over 2.2 million people have been able to return to their homes.

A further €10 million will continue to facilitate the clearance of lands previously contaminated by explosives, by supporting the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS). This will also help creating the conditions for a safe, voluntary and dignified return of more than 3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs).

In the past year and a half, with the EU playing a key role in coordination, UNMAS has surveyed and cleared more than 1.8 million m² of land in and around Fallujah and around 160 thousand m² in al Anbar Province.

(Source: European Commission)