By John Lee.

Iraq’s parliament failed to achieve a quorum on Thursday, resulting in the postponement of a confidence in the government of Prime Minister-designate Mohammad Allawi.

Parliament’s Speaker, Mohammed Halbousi, postponed the session until Saturday.

(Sources: AFP, Anadolu Agency)

By John Lee.

Genel Energy is reportedly considering whether to expand its operations in Kurdistan and elsewhere.

CFO Esa Ikaheimonen (pictured) is quoted as saying that the company has net cash of about $100 million, is open to merger and acquisition opportunities.

(Source: Reuters)

By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced the following investment opportunities:

(Source: National Investment Commission)

By John Lee.

GB Auto has reportedly decided to cease its representation of Hyundai passenger cars in Iraq.

According to Daily News Egypt, the company rejected Hyundai’s new multi-distributor strategy, on the basis that such models never yield proper returns on investment.

It adds that Hyundai had a market share of approximately 25 percent last year.

(Source: Daily News Egypt)

By John Lee.

Iraq has banned all public gatherings and barred entry to travellers from a number of countries affected by the coronavirus (covid19).

Entry permits are being denied to foreigners arriving directly or indirectly from China, Iran, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Singapore, until further notice.

Despite the ban on public gatherings, protesters continue to demonstrate in Baghdad and elsewhere.

(Sources: MOFA, Middle East Eye)

By John Lee.

Deceptive shipping practices are reportedly being used in an attempt to conceal cargoes of sanctioned Iranian fuel oil being shipped via the Iraqi port of Khor al-Zubair.

Writing in Lloyds List, Michelle Wiese Bockmann gives details of a network of shell companies running ‘dark’ tankers to transport the sanctioned fuel.

Click here to read the full article.

Kerlink, a French-based specialist in solutions dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced the success of a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) pilot program for reservoir monitoring in Uganda and Iraq, which incorporates Kerlink’s LoRaWAN gateway technology.

The effectiveness of the sensor-to-cloud monitoring programs in remote locations is resulting in near-term expansion to eight additional installations in Africa and Asia, and officials see a multitude of potential applications for IoT-based wireless sensor networks going forward.

The UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency, is charged with providing water to millions of people worldwide, often with daunting logistics. The Ugandan Arua Field effort, where the pilot monitoring program was first implemented, provides daily water deliveries to as many as 470,000 refugees.

The LoRaWAN-enabled sensors installed at reservoirs starting in January 2019 enabled managers to monitor water levels in real time, providing unprecedented visibility into usage and resource management. They also provided a reliable new source of coordinated payment information for some 630 rental tanker trucks that were hauling up to 6,387 cubic meters (about 1.5 million gallons) of water daily when the emergency response began in 2015.

Data from the sensors designed by several companies travelled through an outdoor Kerlink Wirnet™ Station LoRaWAN gateway, which provided essential connectivity with cloud databases and applications. UNHCR managers integrated the data into a dashboard that provided new levels of visibility into operations of this global program.

UNHCR Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Officer Ryan Schweitzer noted that the IoT made it both easy and cost-effective to roll out a static water-level monitoring system. The agency hopes to use it globally as a “basis-of-payment‟ system for water-trucking operations, which in Uganda are as high as $15 million per month. “The LoRaWAN IoT technology is mature, extremely cost effective and scalable. The static reservoir-monitoring technology works extremely well,” he said.

Schweitzer added that the approach has broad potential for all sectors of humanitarian services, including monitoring of groundwater, water-supply systems, water quality, waste collection, and air quality. He described it as a “possible game-changer for monitoring in refugee settings,” noting that the ability to document delivery of safe, potable water to refugees at all times is a “holy grail”-type of technology for UNHCR water and hygiene efforts.

Next steps include replication of the pilot systems at other locations in Uganda and Iraq, as well as Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Bangladesh.

“This unique and vital use case underscores the humanitarian benefits that the IoT can support,” said Stéphane Dejean, Kerlink’s chief marketing officer. “Because the UNHCR sensor-to-gateway-to-platform system provides critical life support for large numbers of people, there’s a very high need for trustworthiness and reliability.”

“At the same time, the projects’ remote location and minimal staffing also demanded a true carrier-grade solution with quick, easy integration and deployment, and secure and straightforward administration,” he said. “We’re gratified by our Wirnet Station’s performance under harsh conditions, and honored to work with UNHCR – their work reflects our values and commitments towards society and the environment, and we look forward to continuing to provide expertise on the next round of projects.”

Since its introduction in 2014 as the first commercial LoRaWAN gateway, the Wirnet Station has been chosen for thousands of installations worldwide by public operators, cable operators, private businesses, and public authorities. It has set new standards for robust, reliable, high-performance operation; an upgraded successor, the Wirnet iStation, was introduced in 2019.

(Source: Kerlink)

The U.S. Mission in Iraq Announces the 2021-2023 Fulbright Foreign Student Program

The United States Embassy is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2021-2023 Fulbright Foreign Student Program.

This prestigious and competitive scholarship program provides outstanding students and professionals with the opportunity to obtain Master’s degrees at U.S. universities. Launched in 1946 by the U.S. Congress and the late U.S. Senator William J. Fulbright, the Fulbright Program seeks to develop future leaders through educational exchange as well as promote international peace and understanding.

The Fulbright scholarship will fund up to two years of study at the Master’s degree level at a U.S. university starting in the fall of 2021.

All disciplines and academic fields of study are available under this program, with the exception of medicine and other clinical studies.  To be eligible, applicants from Iraq must:

a) possess a bachelor degree from an accredited higher-education institution,

b) demonstrate a mastery of English, and

c) have a minimum of two years of work experience.

For more information regarding eligibility requirements and application procedures, prospective applicants can visit the U.S. Embassy website:  https://iq.usembassy.gov/education-culture/exchange-programs/fulbright-foreign-student-program/ .

Eligible Iraqis with an outstanding academic record  may apply at https://apply.iie.org/ffsp2021.  The U.S. Embassy welcomes applications from men and women from all parts of Iraq.

The deadline for submitting applications is May 1, 2020.

(Source: United States Embassy)

By John Lee.

Iraq has reported four new cases of coronavirus (covid-19), this time in Kirkuk province.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the four were from the same family, and had recently returned from Iran.

They have been placed in quarantine.

According to Reuters, Iraq has indefinitely extended an entry ban on travellers from China, Iran, Thailand, South Korean, Japan, Italy and Singapore.

(Source: Ministry of Health)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has announced final oil exports for January of 102,485,591 barrels, giving an average for the month of 3.306 million barrels per day (bpd), down from the 3.428 million bpd exported in December.

These exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to 101,062,366 barrels, while exports from Kirkuk amounted to 1,114,035 barrels. Exports to Jordan were 309,190 barrels.

Revenues for the month were $6.163 billion at an average price of $60.139 per barrel.

December export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)