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

Will Riyadh-Tehran rivalry kill Iraqi Kurdistan’s investment drive?

Iraqi Kurdistan, facing an acute financial crisis, has a newfound opportunity to attract desperately needed foreign investment from Saudi Arabia, but regional tensions between Tehran and Riyadh could hamper its efforts.

A large Saudi trade delegation led by Sami Bin Abdullah al-Obeidi, chairperson of the Council of Saudi Chambers, and accompanied by the Saudi ambassador to Iraq and the consul general to Erbil, visited the Iraqi Kurdistan Region July 23-25, meeting with business leaders and government officials, including Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, to explore economic opportunities in the energy, agricultural, industry and tourism sectors.

Although no agreements were signed, the parties agreed to work toward expanding economic relations, as Saudi Arabia plans to establish a direct trade link from its Arar border crossing into Anbar province and on to the Kurdistan region.

Click here to read more.

US report details details of secret Iranian banking networks in Iraq
8/12/2018

A US report details Iran’s covert funding networks in Iraq and its role in destroying the country’s economy .

The report, broadcast by US-based al-Hurra, highlighted hundreds of millions of dollars of money transfers by small money-changers in Iraq and other countries under bank and commercial cover to fund the Quds Force, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations.

He explains how Iran uses its financial arms, such as the Lebanon branch of Al Bilad, to hand over its remittances to its allies.

"The US Treasury Department has identified two crimes, the first of which is money laundering, and the second is that these funds are not washed for the sale of infant formula but to the Quds Force and the Revolutionary Guard," said Iraqi politician Antifad Qanbar.

On May 10, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on individuals, companies and banks in Iran, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates and was accused of involvement in funding the operations of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah of transferring hundreds of millions of dollars through a network of exchange shops owned by Iranians and Iraqis, Crooked, under bank and commercial cover.

"The uncertainty surrounding the Iraqi financial sector was not the result of that moment, it was always the cash operations. Cash operations and financial networks associated with corruption and money laundering were often questioned as Iraq dropped the money laundering index to the 208 index not far from Iran Which overshadows the global list. "

"There are many question marks about the economy in Iraq, some of them related to corruption, as well as Iranian influence," said John Sullivan, a former US Treasury envoy to Baghdad.

"There are private banks with significant transactions, contacts and banking ties with Iran," said Dia Khayoun, an adviser to the former finance ministry in the Iraqi government.

"Iran uses informal methods and coverings that are not in place in international banks," he said.

The decision by the US Treasury Department to highlight the work of the Iraqi financial sector has fueled suspicions of corruption that has made it a haven for many illegal activities and a source of abundant funds shared by many parties such as Da’ash, Hezbollah and the Iranian Quds Force.

"When we talk about the secret dealings of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the channels of secret funds that go from Iraq to Hezbollah in Lebanon and other terrorist organizations, Iraqi banks have to rethink their real duties," Sullivan said.

"The Islamic Bank of Iraq, run by Aaras Habib al-Fili, has exploited the political influence of entering the Iraqi banking sector and taking a cover to manage the cash operations associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard," the report said.

"Al-Bilad Bank has one branch outside Iraq located in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, and it will not need more than that window to deliver the monthly expenses of the Lebanese Hezbollah and finance its terrorist operations," the report said.

The report notes that "the direct funding Hezbollah receives from Iran has nearly doubled in the past 10 years," according to recent US reports.


"Al-Bilad Islamic Bank believes in 20 percent of any corruption deal in Iraq to Iran," said Qanbar, who was previously close to Ares Habib.

"The Iranian regime protects corruption in Iraq because corruption is an inexhaustible source of money for him," he said.

The report said that "the Central Bank of Iraq sells between 150 – 200 million dollars a day in the auction currency, and the objective of the auction is to secure cash for government spending in the local markets there is no country like Iraq is conducting a similar procedure and the reason is the entry of a huge cash mass to Iraq On the day this measure has become a subject of considerable criticism and raised a lot of doubts because it is a window exploited by parties inside and outside Iraq. "

"It is clear that the main threat to national security is no longer an advocate and terrorist organizations, but corruption, and the roles played by some countries," Sullivan said.

The report notes that "Iran has worked over the past years to turn Iraq into a strategic surplus of cash is recycled through multiple channels of financial corruption takes money from the contracts of fictitious projects, and pensions of thousands of fictitious employees thefts and bribes and kidnappings and extortion

Add financial market transactions and auction The money is laundering these funds and turning them into beneficiaries through banks, financial institutions and banking offices linked to the financial and intelligence network of the Iranian Quds Force. "

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A total of 79 Iraqi civilians were killed and another 99 injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq in July 2018*, according to casualty figures recorded by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

The figures include ordinary citizens and others considered civilian at the time of death or injury, such as police in non-combat functions, civil defence, personal security teams, facilities protection police and fire department personnel.

Of the overall figures recorded by UNAMI for the month of July, the number of civilians killed (not including police) was 71, while the number of injured (not including police) was 82.

Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate, with 63 civilian casualties (30 killed, 33 injured), followed by Kirkuk (08 killed, 34 injured) and Ninewa (13 killed and 05 injured).

According to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate in Anbar, the Governorate suffered a total of 16 civilian casualties (7 killed, 9 injured). Figures are updated until 31 July 2018, inclusive.

*CAVEAT: UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in certain areas; in some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate and might not fully reflect the number of casualties due to the increased volatility of the situation on the ground in Anbar and the disruption of services. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.

(Source: United Nations)

The European Commission for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) has provided an additional € 4.5 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) to maintain health security and resilience for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), returnees and host communities in conflict-affected governorates of Iraq.

This comes on top of the €29.2 million already contributed by the commission since 2015.

This renewed support will be used to sustain health services more than 500 000 vulnerable people in hard to reach and newly accessible areas of Ninewa and Anbar for the coming 12 months and to ensure vigilance for diseases with a potential of causing outbreaks.

The funds will also support to provide necessary essential medicines and medical supplies as well as facilitate referral services for returnees who have limited access to primary healthcare, secondary rehabilitative and referral health services.

ECHO Head of Office in Iraq, Simon Mansfield said:

“ECHO is keen to continue this support of the provision of medical humanitarian assistance in Iraq. Access to essential medical services for displaced populations and assistance for victims of war injuries remain ECHO’s priorities in country. In 2018, ECHO maintains this strategic partnership with WHO”.

WHO’s Representative in Iraq, Altaf Musani said:

“We welcome this additional contribution from our long term partner, ECHO. This contribution will support WHO and health partners to ensure uninterrupted access to essential and rehabilitative health care services for at least 500,000 IDPs, returnees and vulnerable host communities in the country’s most conflict-affected governorates”.

This partnership between ECHO and WHO represents a strong commitment in improving the health of the people of Iraq.

(Source: WHO)

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

By Kamal al-Ayash.

Despite Doubts About Efficacy, Anbar Builds Border Fence To Keep Extremists Out

Iraq is attempting to secure its porous border with Syria. A trial security fence is being built. But there are many doubts about its ability to keep the Islamic State group out.

In an attempt to maintain security inside the country, and to prevent extremists from so easily crossing the long, porous border between Iraq and Syria, the Iraqi government is going to trial a security fence in Anbar. It will be 20 kilometres long and located in the Al Qaim area, west of Baghdad and right on the Syrian border.

The fence will consist of three different barriers: A six-meter-wide trench that is also three meters deep, barbed wire and then a dirt road on top of a three-meter high mound. There will also be observation towers along the route, equipped with surveillance cameras.

It sounds like a nice idea. But it won’t do anything, locals say.

“These measures are a waste of time, effort and money,” says Abdul Rahman Yassin, a retired military officer who lives in Ramadi, one of Anbar’s larger cities. “Barriers made of concrete or soil need to be accompanied by sophisticated technology. We also need better intelligence, that is aimed at countering any efforts to break through the barriers,” he argues.

The security forces that have fought extremist groups in this area since 2003 are well aware that their enemy has some advanced technology too, Yassin says. “If we deal with the enemy with traditional and old fashioned methods, then that is simply a betrayal of the security forces,” he concludes.

But it’s better than doing nothing, local officials counter. Right now, extremists and others are simply using unpatrolled desert roads as a back door into Iraq.

“There is no doubt that danger enters Iraq from beyond the border, with the support of sleeper cells inside the country,” says Imad al-Dulaimi, the mayor of Rutba, a town about 450 kilometres west of Baghdad near the Syrian border. “Now that the Islamic State group have been pushed out of Iraq, it is important to pay attention to the border areas – especially those with Syria – which still pose a  threat.”

Building a fence like this is a pretty simple solution to a complex problem, al-Dulaimi conceded. “But it is also an attempt to confound the enemy and to reduce his ability to deploy in this area, especially in Anbar.”

The first trial of the fence will probably mostly benefit the city of Al Qaim and the mayor there, Ahmed al-Mahalawi, says that although the security fence is a little late and little primitive, it does “contribute to the protection of the border”.

The local security forces, who are involved in building the 20-kilometre stretch of fence alongside engineers, are a little more optimistic.

Anwar Hamid Nayef, the spokesperson for the border guards in the area, says everyone is looking forward to proving this trial version of the border fence a success.

Eventually the fence could stretch the whole way along the border. “The feasibility and effectiveness of this project will first be assessed and then the rest will be built with the approval of the Iraqi Ministry of Defence and the US-led international coalition against the Islamic State group,” he told NIQASH. Adding that the estimated cost of the whole fence would be up to IQD4 billion (around US$3.3 million).

Ordinary residents in the area remain divided about the plan. Some think that it’s a good idea but wonder if it will actually be completed, or abandoned like so many other development projects in Iraq.

Saadi Abdul Ghafoor, a 46-year-old farmer whose land is adjacent to the banks of the Euphrates, says he was pleased when he saw the construction machinery arrive. Even though the new fence would take up some of his land, he was happy about it.

“But when I saw the machines digging the trenches and pulling the barbed wire, I realised that this was not going to bring anything new,” he told NIQASH. There’s been a similar attempt to fence the border before and Ghafoor says the new one is simply being built in the same place as the old one, which collapsed and eroded. He’s not sure the new fence will do much better than its predecessor.

The Government of France supports Explosive Hazards Management to enable Humanitarian and Stabilization Efforts in Liberated Areas

The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has welcomed a first contribution of EUR 500,000 (USD 590,000) from the Government of France dedicated to explosive hazard management in support of humanitarian and stabilization efforts.

The presence of explosive hazards, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in areas liberated from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), will continue to impede security and stability efforts until they are cleared and rendered safe.

Approximately 1.9 million civilians are still displaced in Iraq due to the recent conflict and unsafe conditions to allow their return. It is estimated that 21% of internally displaced persons (IDPs) are not planning to return to their area of origin because of the presence of explosive hazards and IEDs (REACH/CCCM Cluster ‘Intentions Survey’, January 2018).

The Government of Iraq maintains explosive hazard management capacities within a number of government entities and established mine action authorities, though the demand for assistance far exceeds the resources available.

With this first contribution from France, UNMAS will increase capacity to conduct survey and clearance of liberated areas suspected to be affected by explosive hazards in Anbar, Ninewa, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din, and Diyala Governorates.

UNMAS Iraq will more specifically coordinate the deployment of appropriate clearance capacity in priority locations depending on assessments in direct support of the Government of Iraq, UN plans and humanitarian assistance efforts as well as in coordination with relevant UN agencies.

In collaboration with the Directorate of Mine Action (DMA), risk education will be also provided to those living in and returning to liberated areas known to be contaminated by explosive hazards. Finally, this donation will help UNMAS to further enhance Governmental authorities’ ability to better manage, regulate and coordinate response to the current contamination through training and advisory support.

The French Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Bruno Aubert (pictured) said:

“This contribution testifies not only to the concrete commitment of France alongside Iraqis but also to a desire for effective collaboration with all our partners to develop concrete projects for the reconstruction of Iraq”.

Mr. Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Senior Programme Manager, stated:

“This first contribution from the Government of France will make a significant difference. It will not only support UNMAS efforts to address the threat posed by explosive hazards, but also contribute to the safe and dignified return of displaced communities.”

(Source: UN)

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

By Mustafa Habib.

Iraqi Internet Shuts Down, Fake News Blossoms During Information Blackout

When it came to disinformation, shutting down the Internet to prevent protests in Iraq may have backfired. Iraqis get most of their information from social media and there was none, so false reports circulated wildly.

On June 14, the Iraqi government shut down the Internet in an effort to try and prevent the spread of anti-government protests. The demonstrations, which called for better state services, power and water, had spread from the southern city of Basra to nine other provinces, including Baghdad. And clearly the government wanted to prevent them from going any further.

For the past few years, these types of protests have broken out every summer. In stifling heat rising to 50 degrees Celsius, the lack of power to refrigerate foods or keep houses cool and the fact that water coming out of the taps is salty, is enough to drive Iraqis to protest. But these demonstrations spread further than previous years.

And one imagines that the Iraqi government was trying to prevent the spread of information about the protests, in order to contain them. They are able to block the Internet thanks to the fact that most of infrastructure used for relaying the Internet is government-owned.

However the Internet blockage seemed to only frustrate Iraqis further. Locals here rely heavily on social media to get their news; they tend not to trust local media, believing it to be partisan or funded by interested parties who push their own agenda. What friends and relatives post on Facebook has become a major and important source of information – and when the Internet is down they obviously cannot access this.

So locals found themselves watching TV to get more information about the protests or resorting to VPN – virtual private networks – to access the online world. Iraqis have become accustomed to using this kind of software when the government shuts down, or throttles the Internet here, but as digital privacy experts point out, these too can be  dangerous, especially with regard to privacy.

Clearly Iraqis right around the country were interested to know more about the protests. But pictures and videos were hard to come by, given the Internet shutdown. This led dozens of Facebook pages, specializing in Iraqi news and current affairs, to write up stories about the protests – but as they did, they also used older pictures and videos and many ended up publishing unsubstantiated rumours.

Iraqis who sympathized with the demonstrators didn’t just publish news reports on their pages, they also uploaded pictures and videos to Facebook – some of these were real and some were not. News organisations, like NIQASH, received these kinds of items via messages from people who appeared to be private citizens; however, due to the Internet shutdown, it was difficult to verify the content that was being sent and some of it was certainly not from the current demonstrations.

In fact, as Internet-rights activist and head of the Ansam Network, Haidar Hamzouz, says, the Internet blockade may well have had the opposite of the government’s intended effect. “Shutting down the Internet is a violation of the freedom of expression,” Hamzouz told NIQASH. “And the decision to do this was not the right one – it actually contributed to the spread of false news and it also became very difficult to inform anyone that  certain items were false news.”

It seems that in Iraq, as elsewhere in the world, false reports and emotion-generating half-truths spread far faster than the truth.

Even though the government owns the public broadcaster, Iraqi Media Network, and they have huge resources, they still have not been able to stop the spread of these false reports and rumours, Hamzouz says. “We need institutions that are capable of relaying the facts and combatting fake news, rather than those who just shut down the Internet,” he argues. “Combatting fake news and untrue reports requires a change in the communal culture, one that values verification and checks sources. Unfortunately this doesn’t yet exist in Iraq,” he notes.

One of the more dangerous pieces of false news involved reports that the security forces, who were clashing with the demonstrators in the south, were actually from elsewhere, and more specifically from Anbar and Mosul. The message was that Sunni Muslim soldiers – who mainly come from central and northern Iraq – were abusing Shiite Muslim protestors, who mainly live in southern Iraq. It was clearly a report aimed at fuelling sectarian conflict.

“It is so unfortunate that this news incited hatred against us,” says Ali al-Rubaie, a police captain based in Rustafa, Baghdad. “The members of the security forces who were deployed to the protests were actually residents from the same cities. Each province has its own police and counter-terrorism forces. It would be impossible to do that job with troops from outside of the provinces in which the protests occurred,” he argues.

Additionally when the protests first started, news that the demonstrators were clashing with Iraqi security forces spread fast. But given the internet blockade, it was difficult to find pictures from incidents. One picture that was shared many times shows an Iraqi soldier pointing his gun at an unarmed civilian lying on the ground. However the picture was actually taken during a military training exercise in 2014, organized for a military training graduation ceremony in Karbala.

Another dangerous piece of news had Talib Shaghati, the head of Iraq’s special forces troops, commenting on the clashes between the demonstrators and the security forces. “This is not our battle and we will not stain our hands with the blood of our sons and brothers for the sake of some corrupt officials,” Shaghati was alleged to have said in a  statement that was widely circulated on social media.

The same report said that Shaghati  had been asked to send his troops to the protests but he had refused, and that he had asked the government to listen to the demonstrators’ demands before it was too late. Thousands of Iraqis believed this report and some even said that there should be a military coup because it was clear that the protests had no impact on the government, and the military were on the protestors’ side.

The US was not coming to the rescue either: One report said that US president Donald Trump had said his government was keeping a close eye on the protests in Iraq. This was followed by video footage of two military divisions landing at Baghdad airport. None of this was true: The video was an old one.

Saudi Arabia was not coming to the rescue either. As the protest movement gained momentum, its critics were divided. Some said Iran was behind the protests because the neighbouring nation was going to stop supplying power to Iraq. Others said Saudi Arabia was at fault and was pushing people to demonstrate in order to cause chaos in Iraq.

One of the obviously false reports was started by a page on Facebook called Saudi News. It said that Saudi Arabia’s ruling monarch had ordered water lines and electricity transmission lines to be built urgently for the southern parts of Iraq. The report spread quickly throughout Iraqi social media despite its fanciful nature.

Iraq spends 920 billion to buy oil products from Iran and Kuwait

7/21/2018

BAGHDAD – Oil expert Nabil al-Marsoumi said on Saturday that the money Iraq spends on buying oil products from neighboring countries is enough to build several refineries in the country that meet domestic demand, indicating that Iraq has so far spent 920 billion dinars in purchasing products.

"Iraq is the second largest producer of oil at the level of OPEC and the fourth largest producer in the world, yet the successive governments and oil ministries failed to build a refining industry that could meet the needs of domestic demand for petroleum products, which led to the import of some Including from Iran and Kuwait in large amounts amounted to 920 billion dinars in 2018 to provide fuel for power stations and transportation.

"If there was a national economic policy to invest surplus oil money in the construction of a group of oil refineries in a number of Iraqi provinces, which will fill the domestic needs of petroleum products without the need for import and to provide tens of thousands of job opportunities for the unemployed.

The Ministry of Electricity, announced on Friday, the direct oil ministry of Kuwait to equip the ministry with fuel Alkasael to operate the obstruction units.

"Under the direction of the Amir of Kuwait, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Oil will start supplying the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity with the fuel of Al-Kassa’il to operate the suspended generating units and support the operating units," the ministry said in a statement.

"A Kuwaiti barge loaded with 30,000 cubic meters of kerosene will arrive on Saturday at the ports of Basra as a first payment," it said, adding that "the other quantities will continue periodically over the next few days."

In the same context, the National Investment Authority, during the recent donor conference in Kuwait, three oil refining projects with a capacity of 600 thousand barrels per day, the largest in the province of Basra with a capacity of 300 thousand barrels, and two in Dhi Qar and Anbar with a capacity of 150 thousand barrels each.

Iraq’s need for oil derivatives increased after the terrorist organization Da’ash seized control of the Baiji refinery in Salah ad Din province in 2014, which provided about one-third of the country’s needs of 170,000 barrels per day. The refinery is still out of service because of serious damage.

http://aynaliraqnews.com/index.php?aa=news&id22=101938

Conscious / Integrity: The arrest of officials in the health of Anbar and the recovery of 6 billion dinars
7/17/2018

The Integrity Commission on Tuesday announced the arrest of officials in the province of Anbar and the recovery of 6 billion dinars, noting that the amounts that were manipulated are deductions from the salaries of staff of the Department of Health allocated to support the popular mobilization and relief of the displaced.

A statement issued by the Department of Investigation in the Authority received by the Iraqi News Agency ( INA ) that "the total control operations carried out in the Department of Health of Anbar province, led to the return of more than (6 billion) six billion dinars to the state treasury, and the arrest of a number of officials in the Department Health and Rafidain Bank in the province,

"indicating that" the origin of (five instruments) in Rafidain Bank – Anbar branch issued by the Department of Health in the province, which changed the address of the beneficiary in the documents of exchange and the instruments of instruments.

"The documents were released to Rafidain Bank – Al Anbar branch – as deductions for the popular crowd and displaced people, but the director of health department accounts and his assistant changed them by canceling them so that the amounts of the sukuk could be received in cash," she said, pointing out that " And the instruments of the instruments in the accounts of the Department of Health ".

"The arrest of the Director General of Al-Rafidain Bank – Anbar Branch and the Director of the Anbar Health Department and a number of the Department’s employees was carried out on the basis of judicial arrest warrants. A record of the seizure of the assets was carried out with the arrested detainees, Pending investigation ".

http://al-iraqnews.com/news/newwss/local-news/230777-%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%86%D8%B2%D8%A7%D9%87%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A4%D9%88%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%86-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%B5%D8%AD%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%B9-6-%D9%85%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B1.html

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Erbil Governorate have launched eight infrastructure projects to improve services that are fundamental to daily life, such as electricity, water, roads, and sewerage, for over 284,000 people across the Governorate of Erbil.

With the continuous support from the Government of Germany, UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) and the Erbil Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (E-JCC) will construct or upgrade six critical infrastructure projects, namely constructing roads, improving lighting, repairing the water network, and upgrading the electricity grid. This initiative directly supports residents of Sarbasty, Farmanbaran, Baharka, Naly, Shamamik, and Krechyan quarters of Erbil Governorate.

With continuous funding from the Government of Japan, ICRRP and the E-JCC are supporting two projects benefiting over 210,000 host community members and displaced people. The supply and installation of 40 transformers, already completed, has improved access to reliable electricity for people living in the targeted quarters of Erbil city and the districts of Soran, Koyia, Shaqlawa and Salah Al Din sub-district.

In addition, the supply and installation of a mobile substation for Ifraz Water Treatment Plant, which is the main water source in Erbil Governorate, is expected to increase the supply of water in Darashakran and Kawergosk sub-districts, as well as in Kawergosk refugee camp, Darashakran refugee camp and in the nearby villages.

At a ceremony marking the launch of the projects, the Governor of Erbil, H.E Mr. Nawzad Hadi, said:

“We highly appreciate the support from the Governments of Germany and Japan, and collaboration with UNDP, to improve the delivery of basic services and boost livelihood opportunities for displaced populations in Erbil. Today we are signing the agreements with UNDP to launch infrastructure projects with a total budget of up to US $3 million. These contributions are essential for coping with the current crisis and ongoing recession and will meet current community needs.”

The Consul and Head of the Consular Office of Japan in Erbil, Mr. Katsumi Moriyasu, said:

“Japan is very active in extending humanitarian and stabilization assistance to IDPs, refugees and host communities in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. Its contributions in those areas so far reached US$460 million since 2012. As well, Japan is determined to stay as a close partner of Iraq and Kurdistan Region with respect to their reconstruction and socio-economic development.”

The Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Johannes Schneider, noted:

“Thanks to UNDP and the ICRRP the enormous challenges in the response to the Iraqi Crisis are being addressed in a timely and effective manner. The programme ensures that anybody in need, independent from his or her ethnic or religious background can benefit from the support. Germany is happy to have contributed to this program with a total amount of €59.5 million so far.”

Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, Marta Ruedas, notes that:

“Supporting Iraq’s livelihoods and basic service delivery bolsters Iraq’s path to recovery from the recent conflict. UNDP is committed to working closely with the Erbil Governorate on these critical infrastructure projects that support both displaced populations and host communities”.

UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) promotes the recovery and resilience of communities vulnerable to multi-dimensional shocks associated with large-scale returns and protracted displacement of Iraqis and Syrian refugees.

This is achieved through a medium-term programming integrating crisis management capacity building, rehabilitating basic service infrastructure, livelihood recovery and social cohesion.

(Source: UNDP)