US Assistance to Ethnic and Religious Minorities in Iraq

As part of the continued commitment by Vice President Pence, Secretary Pompeo (pictured), and USAID Administrator Green to support ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq as highlighted earlier this year at the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, the United States is proud to announce over $178 million in U.S. foreign assistance to support these vulnerable communities in Iraq. This brings total U.S. assistance for this population to nearly $300 million since Fiscal Year 2017, implemented by both the State Department and USAID.

The preservation of Iraq’s rich historical pluralism is critical to reintegrating persecuted ethnic and religious minority communities into a peaceful Iraq. U.S. efforts to meet this objective span government agencies and are being implemented urgently, in close partnership with local faith and community leaders. Our efforts focus on the following areas:

Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response (GRPR)

  • Over $133 million in recently launched activities supporting the four pillars of USAID’s GRPR Program, bringing total funding for GRPR to $239 million.
    • Meeting Immediate Needs: Over $51 million in life-saving humanitarian assistance to populations from the Ninewa Plain and western Ninewa, includes safe drinking water, food, shelter materials and household items, medical care, and psychosocial support.
    • Helping Restore Communities: $9 million in funding to support early recovery needs and restore access to services like health and education.
    • Promoting Economic Recovery: $68 million in funding to improve access to jobs and markets, support local businesses, and revive the local economy.
    • Preventing Future Atrocities: $5 million to address systemic issues affecting minority populations and prevent future atrocities.

Clearing the Explosive Remnants of War

  • Approximately $37 million in funding to support explosive remnants of war (ERW) survey, clearance, and risk education in and around minority communities. This support has enabled the Department to significantly expand the number of U.S.-funded ERW survey, clearance, and risk education teams across Ninewa and fulfills the Secretary’s pledge to expand ERW clearance efforts in Iraqi minority communities made at the July 2018 Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

Social, Economic, and Political Empowerment

  • $8.5 million in additional assistance to projects that provide psychosocial services, legal support, and initiatives to help collect evidence of human rights abuses; increase minority representation in local and provincial government; increase access to justice for children; strengthen rule of law; and provide livelihoods support and access to economic opportunities for vulnerable groups bringing the FY 2017 total to $18.5 million.

Preservation of Historic and Cultural Heritage Sites

  • $2 million in ongoing programming to support the preservation of cultural heritage sites in Northern Iraq that were targeted for destruction by ISIS and other terrorist groups, safeguarding, preserving, and restoring access to significant cultural heritage sites of minority communities.

(Source: US State Dept)

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Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country.

Please click here to download the latest report free of charge.

For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com

The service institution of exchange companies will hold a preparatory forum to discuss the merger of banking companies
10/20/2018

The service institution of the exchange companies called on all companies to mediate in the sale and exchange of foreign exchange certificates to attend the preparatory forum which will be held today at the Babylon Hotel, indicating that the forum will discuss and put forward views and proposals on the invitation of the Central Bank to merge brokerage companies.

The Foundation said in a statement that "in order to support the exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar and towards financial stability and reduce the chances of transfer of risk in providing the best services and financial instruments, the service establishment of exchange companies to attend the preparatory and preparatory forum on 20 – 10 – 2018 at the Babylon Hotel Hall Enlil At 2 pm to discuss and put forward views and proposals on the call of the Central Bank in his book No. 9/5/361 dated 15/10-2018 calling for the merger of companies mediating the sale and purchase of foreign currencies.

The Foundation said in a statement tat "in order to support the exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar and towards financial stability and reduce the chances of transfer of risk in providing the best services and financial instruments, the service establishment of exchange companies to attend the preparatory and preparatory forum on 20 – 10 – 2018 at the Babylon Hotel Hall Enlil At 2 pm to discuss and put forward views and proposals on the call of the Central Bank in his book No. 9/5/361 dated 15/10-2018 calling for the merger of companies mediating the sale and purchase of foreign currencies.

http://burathanews.com/arabic/economic/339693

UK-based Amarinth has secured its first order from Iraq Gates Contracting Company (IGCC) for $410K of API 610 OH1 pumps on 22-weeks FCA delivery for the Rumaila oil field, Iraq.

This first order for Amarinth from Iraq Gates Contracting Company (IGCC) of $410K is for ten API 610 OH1 condensate transfer pumps with Plan 11 and Plan 52 double seals and seal support systems.

The pumps are destined for the Rumaila oil field, a super-giant oil field located 50km to the west of the city of Basra, southern Iraq. The Rumaila field is estimated to contain 17 billion barrels, the largest oil field ever discovered in Iraq and considered the third largest oil field in the world. It is managed by the Rumaila Operating Organization (ROO), a joint venture between BOC, BP, PetroChina and SOMO.

IGCC approached Amarinth for the ten identical API 610 OH1 pumps as they were required on an extremely short lead time of 22-weeks Free Carriage Aboard (FCA) from the sea-port in the UK.

This is the sort of challenge that Amarinth has successfully delivered against many times in the past for Middle East oil and gas companies and will leave Amarinth just 20 weeks for the design, manufacture and testing of the pumps and seal support systems, including full documentation and NACE certification for all process wetted parts.

Oliver Brigginshaw, Managing Director of Amarinth, commented:

This latest order from Iraq underlines our on-going commitment and investment in the region and we are delighted that IGCC approached us to supply these pumps recognising that we were the only manufacturer that could deliver bespoke API 610 pumps in the lead time they required.

“In fact, we are seeing that many of the new projects in the Middle East need API 610 pumps on very short lead times as operators start to increase production again, which Amarinth are in a very good position to fulfil.

(Source: Amarinth)

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Arak distillery promotes ambitious new brand in defiance of alcohol ban

Distiller Amer ad-Doumali launched “Arak Bashiqa” in September, a new brand of the Levant’s traditional anise drink whose recipe is centered on dates.

It was a bold move in conservative Iraq, where a yet-unenforced 2016 law banned the production and trade of alcohol.

Doumali’s new brand is the product of his home distillery in the town of Bahzani in Iraq’s northern Ninaveh province.

Click here to read the full story.

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] has transferred ownership of nine state-owned oil companies from the Ministry of Oil to the newly-created Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC).

The Minister is also the President of INOC.

The companies transferred to INOC ownership are:

  • Iraqi Oil Exploration Company
  • Iraqi Drilling Company (IDC)
  • State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO)
  • North Oil Company (NOC)
  • Midland (Middle) Oil Company
  • Basra Oil Company (BOC)
  • Dhi Qar Oil Company (DQOC)
  • Missan Oil Company (MCO)
  • Iraqi Oil Tankers Company (IOTC)

IBN Expert Blogger Ahmed Mousa Jiyad has described the new company as “dysfunctional, unconstitutional and disintegrative“.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions today on Afaq Dubai, an Iraq-based money services business (MSB) that has been moving money for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Today’s designation follows action taken by the Department of Defense—announced on October 11—against a key ISIS financial facilitation group.  This MSB is a part of ISIS’s financial network that includes an array of other MSBs, hawalas, and financial facilitators in the Middle East.

OFAC named Afaq Dubai as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order 13224, for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, ISIS.  Contrary to what the name may imply, this MSB is located in Iraq and does not have any branches in the United Arab Emirates.

“This Iraq-based MSB is a part of ISIS’s complex network of money services businesses, hawalas, and financial facilitators funding terrorism across the Middle East.  We are targeting this network in concert with the Department of Defense as part of this Administration’s ongoing campaign to cut off ISIS’s ability to launder money and move illicit funds,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.  “Even as ISIS’s hold on territory is eliminated, we will continue to search for and shut down the illicit financial networks ISIS utilizes to fund terror attacks and sustain operations.”

Today’s action is a continuation of Treasury’s ongoing efforts to shut down financial facilitators and MSBs worldwide that move money on behalf of ISIS.  It follows the designation of two ISIS financial facilitators in September with ties to the Caribbean and the Middle East.  In December 2016, OFAC designated Selselat al Thahab Money Exchange in Iraq, ISIS financier Fawaz Muhammad Jubayr al-Rawi, and his company, the Hanifa Currency Exchange in Albu Kamal, Syria.  Prior to his death, al-Rawi used the Hanifa Currency Exchange in Albu Kamal, Syria and a global network of financiers to move millions of dollars on behalf of the terrorist group.

OFAC closely coordinated today’s designation with the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), which released details on October 11 regarding its joint action against members of a key ISIS financial facilitation group, who leveraged this MSB as part of its operation.   Coordinated actions such as those conducted by DoD and Treasury this week disrupt and curtail ISIS’s logistical infrastructure, recruiting, and revenue generation.

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of Afaq Dubai subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

DESIGNATED TARGET

Afaq Dubai

Afaq Dubai was designated for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of ISIS.

Afaq Dubai — which is located in Iraq — is part of a network of ISIS-associated money services businesses and financial facilitators in the Middle East.  It is run by two ISIS financiers, and, as of early 2018, laundered money for ISIS and provided money to ISIS families.

In May 2018, a Jordan-based ISIS financial facilitator deposited $3 million from Iraqi dinar into three exchanges, including Afaq Dubai.

Identifying information on the entity designated today.

(Source: OFAC)

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 18th October 2018).

Please click here to download a table of listed companies and their associated ticker codes.

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD634 (-3.8%) / $678 (-3.8%) (weekly change) (-21.6% and -18.9% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 148.2 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD55.5 bn ($45.7 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • Mosul Bank (BMFI) held an AGM* on Oct. 18, 2018 to discuss and approve 2017 annual financial results. ISX suspended trading of BMFI starting Oct. 15, 2018.
  • Iraqi Middle East Investment Bank (BIME) resumed trading on Oct. 15, 2018 due to disclosing 2017 annual financial results.
  • ISX requested AL-Sadeer Hotel (HSAD) to provide a subscription letter on the shares issued on Oct. 15, 2018 after the company’s decision to increase capital from IQD1.239 bn to IQD1.735 bn through 40% rights issue.
  • The Companies’ Registrar announced on Oct. 9, 2018 that the transfer process of the management center of Cihan Bank for Islamic & Finance (BCIH) from Baghdad to Erbil has been completed. The Companies’ Registrar requested a copy of the new adjusted contract.
  • Cross Transactions: 145.9 bn shares of Zain Al-Iraq Islamic Bank for Investment (BZII) (on Oct. 15 and Oct. 18, 2018) which represent 58.2% of BZII capital. 300 mn shares of Iraqi Agricultural Products Marketing Meat (AIPM) (on Oct. 17, 2018) which represents 6% of AIPM capital.