By John Lee.

The number of civilian contractors supporting U.S. and coalition operations in Iraq against the Islamic State has risen 37 percent from January 2017 to January 2018 — from 3,592 to 4,927 — according CENTCOM:

  • Contractors supporting base operations rose from 564 contractors at the start of the period to 827 contractors currently;
  • Contracted translators rose from 377 to 805;
  • Contractors supporting logistics and maintenance rose from 1,156 to 1,480.

More from Military Times here.

(Source: Military Times)

By John Lee.

On 13th February 2018, and within series of events of the Kuwait International Conference of Iraq Reconstruction and Development, Kuwait Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) will organize jointly with Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC), the World Bank (WB) and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) a conference entitled Invest in Iraq which will be attended by investors from all over the world.

Iraq shall present the feasibility studies and licenses for 60 key investment projects with total amount exceeds $ 85 billion.

The WB will support such projects by offering guarantees, compensation of first loss, and markets exploration. This conference would be the first of its kind to be supported by the WB and targeting investments.

Applications to attend will be received until 20:00 GMT on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018.

More information, including the program, here.

(Source: Kuwait Chamber)

Continued U.S. Assistance to Better Meet the Needs of Minorities in Iraq

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have agreed to increase assistance to Iraqis, particularly religious and ethnic minorities, to enable them to return to their homes in areas liberated from ISIS.

Following Vice President Pence’s remarks in October of last year, USAID renegotiated the terms of its agreement to contribute to the UNDP Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) so that $55 million of a $75 million payment will address the needs of vulnerable religious and ethnic minority communities in Ninewa Province, especially those who have been victims of atrocities by ISIS.

The modified agreement ensures that the U.S. contribution will help the populations of liberated areas in Ninewa Province resume normal lives by restoring services such as water, electricity, sewage, health, and education.

The $75 million contribution is the first tranche of the $150 million announced for the FFS by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman in July 2017; fulfillment of the rest of that pledge will depend on UNDP’s success in putting in place additional accountability, transparency, and due-diligence measures for the FFS.

USAID is also proceeding with a process called a Broad Agency Announcement to solicit innovative ideas that support the resettlement of ethnic and religious minorities in their ancestral homes in Iraq. The results of that competition will be available by early Spring.

(Source: UN)

The General Commission for Border Crossings in coordination with the National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced the investment opportunities of establishing high-standards border crossings in the following points:

  • Al- Waleed crossing point
  • Rabeaa crossing point
  • AL- Muntheriyah crossing point
  • Mandeli crossing point
  • Traibeel crossing point
  • Al- Qaem crossing point

According to the following requirements:

  • A VIP building consists of (Lobby, Meetings Hall, Restaurant, Services, Medical care centers, Bedroom)
  • Testing labs service: establishing developed laboratories for all specialized departments operating in the crossing point providing that they must be subject to sectoral sides supervision>
  • Testing, Searching and Control labs
  • Radiological testing labs
  • Health lab
  • IT and Internet Services: establishing, equipping and managing an IT and Internet center under the supervision of the responsible sectoral side.
  • Balanced Scaling Service: establishing, equipping and managing the balanced scales in the crossing point under the supervision of the responsible sectoral side.
  • Testing machines Service: establishing, equipping, managing and maintaining the testing Sonar machines, persons and luggage testing machines and the radiological testing machines after obtaining the sectoral side approval and supervision.
  • Services offices: establishing, equipping and operating services office ready to undertake the responsibility of providing the services of charging, discharging, cleaning and rehabilitating the crossing point buildings (sanitary works, Décor, power supply, water supply maintenance, and telecommunications)

Motel and Hotel Services: establishing, equipping and managing a motel to provide its services to the visiting passengers.

  • Restaurants and Booths: establishing, equipping and managing restaurants and booths within the crossing point that can provide regular meals, snacks and soft drinks.
  • Testing Services: (K9) establishing, equipping and managing a testing service (K9) in the crossing points under the supervision of the sectoral side and includes testing explosives and drugs.
  • Storing Services: establishing, equipping and managing cooled and non- cooled stores for all specialized departments in the crossing point (Food and equipments, Agricultural quarantine, veterinary quarantine, and medical quarantine).
  • Shaded waiting areas: Establishing parking areas for vehicles, buses and trucks according to the international standards.
  • Fuel stations service: establishing, equipping and managing a fuel station within the crossing point
  • Rest houses Service: establishing, equipping and managing rest houses within the crossing point.
  • Water Desalination Station: establishing, equipping and maintaining water desalination stations within the crossing point.
  • Power and Water Supply Services: the investing side shall be in charge of establishing power generation stations and water supply stations.
  • Control System: establishing, equipping and maintaining a control system to be provided with the latest cameras and surveillance devices from the latest international sources.
  • The point entrances: establishing, equipping and maintaining 4 entrances, 2 in the Iraqi side and 2 in the other side.
  • Electrical Gates: establishing, equipping and maintaining developed electrical gates provided with Sonar machines, balanced scales and biometric reading machine.
  • The crossing point buildings: establishing, equipping and furnishing special buildings for the crossing point departments and other depts. operating in the point area in addition to establishing halls for sleep.
  • Mosque: establishing, equipping and furnishing a mosque with modern specifications.

Investors willing to invest in the aforementioned investment opportunities are required to submit a detailed offer with the feasablity study at the headquarter of the National investment Commission or the headquarter of the Crossing Points commission, knowing that the closing date is 31.01.2018.

For any further information please call Colonel Khaled Hasoon Jabur – Head of the Contracts Section:

07903307102

07705813552

(Source: National investment Commission)

Iraq will ask foreign oil companies operating in the country to build housing for Iraqis employed on their projects, the oil ministry in Baghdad said in a statement on January 10.

Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi “issued a general notice which commits contracted companies to build modern housing compounds and provide essential services to employees,” the statement said.

(Source: GardaWorld)

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman has announced that the U.S. government is providing $75 million in additional funding to help stabilize Iraq following its full liberation from ISIS.

The United States plans to provide a total of $150 million for stabilization efforts in 2018, which will bring the total U.S. contribution to $265.3 million since 2015.

Ambassador Silliman said:

Our commitment to the Iraqi people does not end with the eradication of ISIS. Communities in the liberated areas now face the daunting challenge of rebuilding their lives and restoring their cultural heritage.  

“These funds will help restore basic services like water and electricity so that Iraqi families of all ethnic and religious backgrounds can return to their homes – safely, voluntarily, and with dignity.

The funds will be provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).  The UNDP stabilization program is supported by 24 international donors and managed in close cooperation with the Government of Iraq at the federal and local levels.

Strengthened by this new funding, the stabilization program will continue to help the populations of liberated areas return to their homes and resume normal lives by restoring services such as water, electricity, health, and education.

The stabilization program also supports temporary cash-for-work employment and grants to small businesses to jump-start local economies.  Part of the additional U.S. funding announced today will address the needs of vulnerable ethnic and religious minorities, especially those who have been victims of ISIS atrocities.

(Source: US Embassy)

By John Lee.

The European Union has announced that it will co-chair a conference on Iraq’s Reconstruction and Development in Kuwait in February.

In a statement, the EU said the aim of the conference is to help consolidate regional and international engagement in support of Iraq.

The conference will be hosted by Kuwait and will involve all key donors as well as countries in Iraq’s neighbourhood.

KUNA cites the Chief of Staff in the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office, Dr. Mahdi Alalak, as saying that the conference, “is expected to stray from the norm while providing lucrative investment opportunities, which will be announced in due course.

He added that Iraq is in need of no less than $100 billion to revive the residential sector.

The conference is scheduled to run from 12th to 14th February.

(Sources: EU, KUNA, AFP)

 

EU strategy on Iraq: new proposal to strengthen support to the Iraqi people

On Monday, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission adopted a Joint Communication proposing an EU strategy for Iraq in order to address the many challenges the country faces following the territorial defeat of Da’esh.

The proposal outlines both ongoing and longer term EU support to the country, fully taking into account the Iraqi government’s priorities.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission said:

“Iraq is at a crossroads in its history following the territorial defeat of Da’esh at great sacrifice. It is now crucial to act quickly and rebuild the country with the participation of all the components of Iraqi society, to promote and protect fundamental rights and the rule of law in each and every area: only inclusiveness can guarantee true reconciliation so that Iraqis can close once and for all with the past.

“This needs international support and we are ready to contribute, to keep supporting the Iraqi people and government in these challenges, for the sake of the people of the country and the region”.

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, who has visited Iraq several times to assess EU aid projects on the ground said:

The EU has been providing emergency assistance to the Iraqi people since the beginning. Humanitarian needs remain high and many people remain displaced by conflict. I have seen first-hand the suffering in places like Mosul and Fallujah and it is crucial that all aid efforts continue to be impartial and neutral. It is essential to support all Iraqi’s in need of assistance today and tomorrow, for as long as it takes.”

Iran‘s South Rouhina Steel Complex has reportedly sent 500 tons of rebar to Iraq.

The Iranian trade attaché to Iraq, Naser Behzad, is quoted by IRNA as saying that the consignment was worth $250,000.

‘Exports to Iran have paved the way for sending standard goods,’ he said.

South Rouhina Steel Complex has the capacity to produce about 500,000 tons of rebar per year, increasing to 3 million tons in two years.

According to the company’s websites, South Rouhina Steel Complex (Iran rebar) started in 2010 on a 100-hectare site in Khouzestan province, 7 kilometers from Dezful.

(Source: IRNA)

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has invited local and international companies to participate in the execution of the oil export pipeline extension, which extends from the Kirkuk oilfield to the Iraqi-Turkish border, and will run side-by-side with the old strategic pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan (pictured).

Mr. Assim Jihad, the spokesman of the Ministry of Oil, said that the pipeline will run for over 350 kilometers, and will be 48 inches in diameter.

It will be able to transport 1 million barrels per day (bpd) and will be built on a BOOT basis investment method, which includes the construction, property, operation and property transfer.

The government and the ministry does not bare or pay any money or spending over the project at the current time, but after the operation.

The project includes also the construction of a gas pipeline, pumps and reservoirs, in addition to the other completed accessories and services. The contract also commits the winner consortium companies to share with the local companies with 25% or more of the project proportion within the consortium.

Mr. Jihad said also that the oil projects company have determined the 24th of January 2018 as the last date for the companies to present their participation letter.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)