United Kingdom


UK announces Iraq Explosive Clearance Funds

More than a million Iraqis whose lives have been devastated by Daesh safely returned home in 2018, made possible in part thanks to a huge UK aid funded mine clearance mission.

The Department for International Development (DFID) has today (Saturday 5 January) announced further support to clear explosives from schools, hospitals and roads in Iraq, eradicating one of the lasting impacts of Daesh’s reign of terror across the country.

Thousands of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) continue to threaten the lives of Iraqi men, women and children trying to rebuild their lives after the conflict and the UK’s vital work will help even more people to return to normality without continued risk to their lives.

With the support of UK aid, approximately 16,500 explosives, 800 suicide belts and a staggering 2,000 deadly explosives traps were cleared in Iraq last year.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

Daesh’s sickening use of explosive traps continue to threaten children in their schools, mothers in hospitals and thousands of innocent people trying to return to a normal life.

“Thanks to this UK aid funded work, people can return to work, children can go back to school and lives are slowly being rebuilt.

“The UK is a world leader in demining. I believe the UK public supports this work and can very clearly see its impact, in changing and saving lives.

This new funding will support projects across the country’s Sinjar Province, an area with a historically large population of Yezidis who have been displaced by Daesh in their thousands, and one of the areas worst impacted by Daesh occupation.

UK aid will support six explosive clearance teams who will be deployed across the region making schools, hospitals and critical infrastructure safe from suspected explosive.

There is more work to do with 1.8 million people still displaced, many living in camps across the country. For many of them deadly explosives, rigged, booby-trapped and hidden on an industrial scale mean that they are unable to return to their homes.

The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has called the use of explosive traps a Daesh strategy to ‘win on the cheap’, continuing to devastate Iraq even as the Iraqi people try to rebuild.

UK aid funded explosive clearance teams have found:

  • A hospital used as Daesh’s HQ in Mosul where 3,500 explosive hazards, including hand grenades and missiles, had to be secured;
  • A school in Fallujah rigged with 13 IEDs, which could have seriously injured or killed the 450 children attending the school;
  • The British-built ‘New Bridge’ in Fallujah was rigged with 44 IEDs and 400 kilograms of explosives, blocking the only connection to Baghdad – preventing businesses from operating;
  • A school in West Mosul which was used as a bomb factory, where 1,500 explosives, including 15 suicide belts, were found and secured.

UK aid is funding education experts to teach children and adults on how to keep safe from undiscovered explosives and what to do if they see a suspected device. Last year, DFID’s support educated more than 400,000 people on the risks. This education may save their lives.

With hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq still in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, the UK has supported more than 400,000 people with food and provided life-saving healthcare services to over four million people since 2014.

(Source: UK Department for International Development – DFID)

UK efforts in Iraq ‘Hindered by Hostile Immigration Policy’

By John Lee.

A report from UK-based newspaper The Guardian says that British Government-backed projects to tackle the aftermath of the war in Iraq have been hindered by the UK’s continuing “hostile” immigration policy.

It cites the example of a civil service training scheme involving a £330,000 contract between the General Company for the Ports of Iraq (GCPI) and Middle East Graduate (MEG), a Sheffield-based student recruitment agency; the scheme now faces being axed after immigration officials rejected dozens of student visa applications.

Another project, funded by the UK government to research gender-based displacement and violence in Iraqi Kurdistan, was hampered when six members of the project’s Iraq-based team were denied visas.

More here.

(Source: The Guardian)

Meeting Between UK and Iraqi Chambers of Commerce

On Wednesday 12th December, the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) was pleased to host a first meeting between the British Chambers of Commerce and Chamber of Commerce & Industry representatives from the Kurdish Region of Iraq.

Erbil Chamber of Commerce is a founding member of IBBC and the IBBC is now the affiliate Chamber for Iraq of the British Chambers of Commerce.

Liam Smyth, International director represented the British Chambers.

Dr Dara Al Khayat, Chairman Erbil Chamber and Chairman of the Kurdish Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry was joined by the Chairmen of Sulaimani and Dohuk Chamber of Commerce.

The work of all the Chambers was discussed and in particular areas where the KRG requested UK involvement was identified.  Apart from oil and gas and utilities there was much discussion about the agricultural and food processing potential of the region. In addition mining, tech and textiles were also put forward as sectors which foreign investment would be most welcome.

Both sides looked forward to continuing engagement with each other to mutual benefit.

(Source: IBBC)

UK Delegation meets KRG PM Barzani

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq Baroness Emma Harriet Nicholson, UK Ambassador to Iraq Jon Wilks, and UK Consul-General to the Kurdistan Region Martyn Warr.

Baroness Nicholson welcomed the progress made in the dialogue between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad to settle outstanding issues.

She also expressed her country’s desire to encourage British investors to invest in the Kurdistan Region, contribute to economic development of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, and share expertise in modernizing various sectors.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the United Kingdom for its humanitarian and military assistance to the Kurdistan Region.

He highlighted the relations between Kurdistan and Baghdad, and affirmed that the KRG supports the new Iraqi Prime Minister, Mr. Adil Abdul Mahdi in restoring security and political stability of Iraq and developing its economy.

(Source: KRG)

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)

Please Support Widows and Orphans in the Middle East

By Robert Cole, for the AMAR International Charitable Foundation.

For hundreds of millions of families around the world, this month’s Mawlid al-Nabi commemoration to mark the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday will be a time for family, friends, joy and celebration. A time of prayer, exchanging gifts, embracing the wider community and extending to others their religious generosity.

But for millions more, particularly widows and children, there will be no celebration as they continue their battle against war, hunger, and disease.

In Iraq alone, there are one million widows and, tragically, more than four million orphans.

AMAR International has been delivering urgent medical and educational support in the Middle East for the last 26 years. Using a staff comprised almost entirely of national professionals and volunteers, they have treated more than 10 million patients and have opened 46 medical centres across Iraq.

But we couldn’t have done any of this without your help. Today we are launching a new, urgent appeal for emergency funds to help widows and orphans in the most desperate need.

Please help us to help them.

(Source: AMAR)

Agents of Change: the Opportunity for Tech in Iraq

IBBC Tech Conference

Sunday 25 November

The Address, Dubai Marina

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) is bringing together the leading companies involved in Tech in Iraq to discuss the various strands of Tech and the evident possibilities for investment and engagement.

Interest in Tech in Iraq is rising rapidly, with a growing number of start-up hubs and University Entrepreneur Platforms, and especially within financial services as payments and transactions are increasingly automated.

IBBC wants to encourage development of the Tech sector in Iraq as a means to modernise the economy, provide new services for Business, Government and Consumer sectors, to support Education, Health, Finance and Energy sectors, and encourage jobs and activity for young people.

The Tech Conference will focus on three key areas of business opportunity:

  • The Start-up Economy
  • E-Government & Citizen
  • FinTech

Lead participants include Khudairi Group, Restrata Group, EY, Citi, Avaya, KRG Information Technology Department, Microsoft and SAP with more to be confirmed soon.

Register Here

Ashley Goodall of IBBC says:

“Tech industry is capable of rapid development, not only among young people, but also through investors and companies. We have witnessed London’s rise to be Europe’s lead tech destination in just 8 years and IBBC expect the opportunities in Iraq to take off similarly, as the country modernises and evolves educational and job opportunities for young people.”

IBBC is calling for more people and companies to invest into Iraq’ start-ups and to establish their businesses in the country. Attend our conference, free of charge, to hear about the unique opportunities on offer and the exciting new developments in the Tech Sector in Iraq.

The Tech Conference takes place in the Address Hotel, Dubai on Sunday 25th November from 2pm.

For more information please contact IBBC here –

https://www.iraqbritainbusinesscouncil.org/tech-conference

Media contact: Ashley.goodall@webuildiraq.org , London@webuildiraq.org

(Source: IBBC)

Agents of Change: the Opportunity for Tech in Iraq

IBBC Tech Conference

Sunday 25 November

The Address, Dubai Marina

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) is bringing together the leading companies involved in Tech in Iraq to discuss the various strands of Tech and the evident possibilities for investment and engagement.

Interest in Tech in Iraq is rising rapidly, with a growing number of start-up hubs and University Entrepreneur Platforms, and especially within financial services as payments and transactions are increasingly automated.

IBBC wants to encourage development of the Tech sector in Iraq as a means to modernise the economy, provide new services for Business, Government and Consumer sectors, to support Education, Health, Finance and Energy sectors, and encourage jobs and activity for young people.

The Tech Conference will focus on three key areas of business opportunity:

  • The Start-up Economy
  • E-Government & Citizen
  • FinTech

Lead participants include Khudairi Group, Restrata Group, EY, Citi, Avaya, KRG Information Technology Department, Microsoft and SAP with more to be confirmed soon.

Register Here

Ashley Goodall of IBBC says:

“Tech industry is capable of rapid development, not only among young people, but also through investors and companies. We have witnessed London’s rise to be Europe’s lead tech destination in just 8 years and IBBC expect the opportunities in Iraq to take off similarly, as the country modernises and evolves educational and job opportunities for young people.”

IBBC is calling for more people and companies to invest into Iraq’ start-ups and to establish their businesses in the country. Attend our conference, free of charge, to hear about the unique opportunities on offer and the exciting new developments in the Tech Sector in Iraq.

The Tech Conference takes place in the Address Hotel, Dubai on Sunday 25th November from 2pm.

For more information please contact IBBC here –

https://www.iraqbritainbusinesscouncil.org/tech-conference

Media contact: Ashley.goodall@webuildiraq.org , London@webuildiraq.org

(Source: IBBC)

Rebuilding & Reconstruction – Iraq – Delivering the Vision

 Rebuilding & Reconstruction

– Iraq –

Delivering the Vision

Register Now

IBBC returns to Dubai on 25 November with a full agenda of expert speakers to discuss the most important issues facing Iraq’s economy.

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan & Kazakhstan will open the conference, alongside H.E. Mr Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade & Industry, H.E. Mr Bangen Abdullah Rekani, Iraq’s Minister for Housing, Reconstruction & Public Municipalities, Dr Mehdi Al Alak, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, Michael Townshend the Regional President of BP Middle East and Jon Wilks CMG Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq.

A delegation of high-profile Iraqi Governmental Officials will be in attendance including Dr Hamid Ahmed, Deputy Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee (PMAC), Dr Sabah Mushatat, Investment and Reconstruction Advisor of the Prime Minister, Mr Louay Al-Yassiri, Governor of Najaf, Mr Nawjad Hadi, Governor of Erbil, Dr Wijdan Salim, PMAC and Mr Abas Imran, Technical DG, Ministry of Transport. Delegates will have the opportunity to engage with the speakers in dynamic and concentrated debates during Roundtable Discussions. Further Iraqi officials are expected to confirm their attendance in the coming weeks.

Other confirmed speakers include Christopher M. Cantelmi, Principal – Infrastructure & Natural Resources – International Finance Corporation (World Bank) and Kareem K. Ismail, Resident Representative for Iraq and Yemen, International Monetary Fund (IMF). Additional expert speakers are drawn from the Department of International Trade, Shell, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Serco, SKA International Group, Basrah Gateway Terminal, Khudairi Group, G4S, National Bank of Iraq, Management Partners, EY, AFC Iraq Fund, Chevron, Wood and more.

Download the Full Agenda

Conference sessions will focus on:

  • Infrastructure, Rebuilding & Utilities Supply 
  • Oil & Gas – Increasing Production
  • Regulatory & Financial Framework – Encouraging International Investment
  • Logistics & Trade

A Pre-conference Reception and Networking Event is planned for Saturday 24 November at the Address Dubai Marina, where delegates can enjoy the spectacular surroundings and view. With Dubai being a hub for local and international companies in the region operating in Iraq, the conference attracts suppliers, investors, producers and buyers from Iraq, the UK and the wider international business community.

IBBC will also be holding a Tech Forum on 25 November, which will run in parallel to the conference at the same venue. Ticket holders will get complimentary access to the forum, where some of the key innovators of Tech in Iraq will be speaking on Fintech, the Consumer Economy, E-Government and the Start-Up Economy. Speakers include representatives from EY, Citi Bank, Restrata Group, MediaWorld, Khudairi Group, Avaya and the Technology Department of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

For any queries please email London@webuildiraq.org