By John Lee.

The Kurdistan Regional Government’s long-serving Minister of Natural Resources (MNR), Ashti Hawrami (pictured), is to be appointed to the post of Assistant Prime Minister for Energy Affairs in the new KRG cabinet.

According to a report from Rudaw, it is not currently clear whether the move will result in the scrapping of the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Hawrami was first appointed as Minister for Natural Resources in 2006.

(Source: Rudaw)

By John Lee.

Iraqi authorities have failed to ensure for almost 30 years that Basra residents have sufficient safe drinking water, resulting in on-going health concerns, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released today.

The situation culminated in an acute water crisis that sent at least 118,000 people to hospital in 2018 and led to violent protests.

The 128-page report, “Basra is Thirsty: Iraq’s Failure to Manage the Water Crisis,” found that the crisis is a result of complex factors that if left unaddressed will most likely result in future water-borne disease outbreaks and continued economic hardship.

The authorities at the local and federal level have done little to address the underlying conditions causing the situation.

More here.

(Source: HRW)

By John Lee.

New Zealand’s Ambassador to Baghdad, Tredene Dobson, has informed the Iraqi Foreign Ministry of her country’s agreement to open an Iraqi Embassy in New Zealand.

The announcement followed a meeting between Ambassador Dobson and the Acting Head of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry’s Department of Asia and Australia, Mr. Hamid Abbas.

(Source: Iraqi Foreign Ministry)