By John Lee.

The Cabinet held its regular weekly meeting in Baghdad on Thursday under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil, Thamir Ghadhban.

It reviewed the impact of restrictions to contain covid-19, including curfews, on the health, financial and service sectors, and discussed measures to lessen the burden on Iraqis, receiving briefings from the Minister of Health, Dr. Jaafar Allawi and senior officials on current measures to contain the spread of the epidemic in Iraq.

The Cabinet urged all citizens to abide by curfew regulations and follow the advice of health professionals, including practicing social distancing and avoiding gathering for their own safety and that of all Iraqis.

The Cabinet discussed measures to ensure food security, continuation of essential services, transport of agricultural produce between provinces and requests from a number of Iraqi citizens abroad who wish to return home but are unable to do so because of current restrictions on air travel in several countries.

The Cabinet thanked the Crisis Cell for its role in mobilising national efforts to contain Covid-19, and expressed its gratitude to Iraqi health teams, security forces, volunteers and community leaders for their hard work and dedication at this difficult time.

The Cabinet decided to:

  • Extend the curfew to 11 April 2020 in all regions of Iraq, and for current exemptions to be maintained;
  • Direct all ministries, public bodies and local authorities to use their financial and other resources such as vehicles and equipment to support the Crisis Cell and the Ministry of Health
  • Authorise the Minister of Health to allow some health professionals who have reached retirement age to continue in their posts for the duration of the crisis.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the world. Governments of even the wealthiest countries are struggling to cope with the scale of the Pandemic. For Iraq this is nothing short of disaster. Iraq’s health care system is in almost permanent crisis, constantly on the brink of collapse.

Only days ago, its Health Minister, Jafar Allawi, was seen on television pleading to Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the spiritual leader of Iraq’s Shia Muslims, for help. His government had failed to agree to Allawi’s plea for emergency funding to cope with the Corona crisis.

Iraq is a country devastated by decades of war, internecine conflict, dictatorship, corruption and poverty, and now its beleaguered staff and broken infrastructure is being asked to deal with one of the most virulent viruses the world has ever known.

The hundreds of thousands of Yazidi IDPs living in the sprawling camps in the north are particularly at risk. AMAR field teams are doing all they can to limit the spread by dispensing much needed advice and support to those most in need.

For the last 27 years, AMAR has been at the forefront of efforts to support and enhance the Iraqi health care system. We have built, refurbished and run more than 75 health care centres, our medical professionals have carried out almost 11 million consultations, and our teams have been caring for and supporting hundreds of thousands of Yazidi IDPs since the ISIS invasion of 2014.

To continue to do this we need your support. Without our amazing donors we could not have achieved so much for more than a quarter of a century. Today, with COVID-19 the very latest threat to the lives and livelihoods of the poor Iraqi people, we need your help more than ever.

ALL THE WAYS YOU CAN DONATE DONATE BY CHEQUE DONATE BY UK CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD

Search for us on Virgin money giving under AMAR International Charitable Foundation or go to our website www.amarfoundation.org

We are delighted to add that the appeal is being backed by the Joss Stone Foundation (@JossStone) which aims to raise awareness and support for more than 200 charities globally. Thank you so much Joss!

SUPPORT AMAR ICF VIA VIRGIN MONEY HERE

or

PLEASE FIND THE DONATION FORM HERE

(Source: IBBC)

COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the world. Governments of even the wealthiest countries are struggling to cope with the scale of the Pandemic. For Iraq this is nothing short of disaster. Iraq’s health care system is in almost permanent crisis, constantly on the brink of collapse.

Only days ago, its Health Minister, Jafar Allawi, was seen on television pleading to Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the spiritual leader of Iraq’s Shia Muslims, for help. His government had failed to agree to Allawi’s plea for emergency funding to cope with the Corona crisis.

Iraq is a country devastated by decades of war, internecine conflict, dictatorship, corruption and poverty, and now its beleaguered staff and broken infrastructure is being asked to deal with one of the most virulent viruses the world has ever known.

The hundreds of thousands of Yazidi IDPs living in the sprawling camps in the north are particularly at risk. AMAR field teams are doing all they can to limit the spread by dispensing much needed advice and support to those most in need.

For the last 27 years, AMAR has been at the forefront of efforts to support and enhance the Iraqi health care system. We have built, refurbished and run more than 75 health care centres, our medical professionals have carried out almost 11 million consultations, and our teams have been caring for and supporting hundreds of thousands of Yazidi IDPs since the ISIS invasion of 2014.

To continue to do this we need your support. Without our amazing donors we could not have achieved so much for more than a quarter of a century. Today, with COVID-19 the very latest threat to the lives and livelihoods of the poor Iraqi people, we need your help more than ever.

ALL THE WAYS YOU CAN DONATE DONATE BY CHEQUE DONATE BY UK CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD

Search for us on Virgin money giving under AMAR International Charitable Foundation or go to our website www.amarfoundation.org

We are delighted to add that the appeal is being backed by the Joss Stone Foundation (@JossStone) which aims to raise awareness and support for more than 200 charities globally. Thank you so much Joss!

SUPPORT AMAR ICF VIA VIRGIN MONEY HERE

or

PLEASE FIND THE DONATION FORM HERE

(Source: IBBC)

By Sara Allawi and Michael O’Hanlon for USA Today. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The relationship between Iraq and the U.S. is in danger of collapse. That can’t happen.

Do the United States and Iraq, joined at the hip in tragic and mistake-prone war for most of the past 17 years, have a future together?

As Iraq seeks to form a new government, its parliament is on record recommending that U.S. forces be expelled in the aftermath of the early January killing of Iranian terror mastermind Qassam Soleimani.

Those tensions could again be inflamed by the Amerian and allied retaliation, early on March 13, for recent rocket barrages against foreign forces in Iraq by Iranian-backed militias that killed two Americans and a Brit. Over the following weekend, another round of barrages occurred, with the potential for yet more American retaliation.

The partnership appears to be in peril.

Click here to read the full story.

From Middle East Monitor, under a Creative Commons licence. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq’s Judicial Council rejects Al-Zurufi’s appointment as ‘unconstitutional’

The Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq has disputed the appointment of lawmaker Adnan Al-Zurufi as Prime Minister-designate to form a transitional government on the grounds that the president has no constitutional right to appoint him.

The Iraqi Federal Court ruled earlier that President Barham Salhi is entitled to appoint a candidate for prime minister after former Prime Minister-designate Mohammad Tawfiq Allawi withdrew his candidacy.

However, the President of the Supreme Judicial Council, Fayeq Zeidan, said in a statement that the president does not have the powers to delegate Al-Zurufi.

He explained that according to the Iraqi constitution, the president does not have the power to appoint a candidate, without the approval of his/ her parliamentary bloc.

However, legal expert Tariq Harb told Arabi21 that the Supreme Judicial Council objection is merely an “opinion” and it does not invalidate the Federal Court’s decision.

(Source: Middle East Monitor)

By Ranj Alaadin, for Brookings Institution. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq has a new prime minister. What next?

Iraq has a new prime minister-designate, almost three weeks after the previous nominee – Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi – failed to secure parliamentary approval for his cabinet.

The new figure, Adnan al-Zurfi, is a veteran of the Iraqi opposition and a long-time member of the ruling class who worked closely with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) during the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

A stern personality, he has a checkered and violent history with many of the people and groups with which the U.S. is currently clashing.

The full report can be read here.

By Hassan Ali Ahmed for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The post of prime minister in Iraq is proving to be a tough gig.

Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, who was designated to become prime minister with the support of pro-Iranian forces in Iraq, withdrew his candidacy March 2 after he failed to form a government within the constitutionally mandated 30-day deadline.

Now those forces are looking back over their shoulders at caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, thinking he might be their best hope to retain influence in Iraq.

However, Abdul Mahdi said March 2 that he is taking a voluntary absence from the post.

Click here to read the full story.

By Shelly Kittleson for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

In the months since massive anti-government protests began across Shiite-dominant southern and central Iraq in October, Iraqi politicians have been meeting in small groups in the capital late into the night, hashing out new strategies and alliances.

Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, who had been designated to become prime minister, put together a list of ministers in late February, voting on which was initially to be held Feb. 27.

The vote was postponed several times before he withdrew from forming a government early March 2.

Click here to read the full story.

By Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq faces more chaos as PM-designate fails to form government

Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi failed to receive parliamentary approval for his Cabinet March 1, leaving Iraq in a dangerous power vacuum.

Iraqi President Barham Salih appointed Allawi as prime minister a month ago, based on the recommendations of the Sairoon and Fatah blocs.

Click here to read the full story.

By Hafsa Halawa for The Middle East Institute. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi politics continues to unravel as Allawi withdraws

Politics in Iraq continues its calamitous unravelling following the failure of Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi to form a government within the allotted 30 days since his nomination.

On the night of March 1, Allawi withdrew his nomination, citing powers that aimed to bring him down and a refusal by the political elite to engage in meaningful reform.

He gave a statement where he noted that “the choice was to become PM at the expense of the people and their suffering … and I choose to stand with the people.

Click here to read the full article.