By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced a new investment opportunity in Iraq:

(Source: National Investment Commission)

(Picture: Business opportunity word cloud, from ibreakstock/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced a new investment opportunity in Iraq:

(Source: National Investment Commission)

(Picture: Business opportunity word cloud, from ibreakstock/Shutterstock)

  • Test results from international laboratories confirm that the death of millions of farmed carp in Iraq in late 2018 was caused by fish disease, not pollution.
  • The carp suffered from the Koi Herpes Virus (KHV), a lethal disease known to cause almost 100 percent mortality rates in carps.
  • Based on these results, we can therefore rule out that chemical contamination played a role in the fish kill, which should reassure the public that the farmed carp is safe to eat.

On 26 October 2018, a major fish kill episode that wiped out millions of mostly caged farmed carp in Iraq’s central Euphrates region sent the country into major panic. Fear spread that the fish kill was caused by a mysterious pollution that could also poison people, whilst fish farmers agonized over their losses as the source of their livelihoods abruptly vanished.

Deeming the fish kill a national security issue, Iraq’s newly appointed Prime Minister, Dr. Adel Abdul Mahdi, immediately assembled a crisis team led by the Ministry of Health and Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture to investigate its causes and take appropriate remedial measures.

“The scale of the fish kill was so huge, we had excavators working for four days clearing the fish from the river,” affirmed Dr. Ala Alwan, Iraq’s Minister of Health and Environment, who personally inspected the situation on the ground once news of the incident broke out. “We also used oil spill booms to contain and prevent the fish from drifting downstream, especially as many fish farmers rashly dumped the dead carp into the Euphrates River,” he added.

Faced with this unprecedented massive fish mortality, the Iraqi Government decided to request emergency technical assistance from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UN Environment to help determine the cause of the sudden die off.

Fish and environmental samples were collected by the Ministry of Health and Environment based on UN Environment’s advice from the epicentre of the fish kill incident near Al-Musayab, Babel governorate, approximately 70 kilometres south of Baghdad. Since 2011, this area had become a thriving hub for Iraq’s growing fish farming industry where a rapid expansion in the use of floating river cages to grow common carp (Cyprinus carpio) became established. At the same time, “the high density of fish cages almost back-to-back for kilometres, coupled with extreme overstocking, contravened national regulations,” cautioned Minister Alwan.

UN Environment, WHO and FAO rapidly organized for the fish, water, sediment and fish feed samples to be shipped to internationally-accredited laboratories. Comprehensive chemical and microbiological tests were carried out by three different laboratories, including in Switzerland, Jordan and Italy.

For all the samples taken by the Ministry of Health and Environment, test results showed no significant contamination from heavy metals, hydrocarbons or pesticides. “Unlike water, which only gives a snapshot of environmental conditions at a specific point in time, sediment acts as a storage reservoir for contaminants,” explained Dr. John Pote, Head of the Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology at the University of Geneva, who coordinated the laboratory study commissioned by UN Environment.

“Based on these results, we can therefore rule out that chemical contamination played a role in the fish kill, which should reassure the public that the farmed carp is safe to eat,” he added. These conclusions were also shared by Mr. Ahmed El-Olimat, Deputy Head of Quality and Laboratory Affairs in Ministry of Water and Agriculture in Jordan, who coordinated the test of the water samples sent by WHO to Jordan.

DNA tests run by the Swiss National Fish Disease Laboratory and Reference Laboratory for Notifiable Diseases found the presence of the Cyprinid herpesvirus (CyHV-3) in all fish samples examined, confirming Iraqi scientists’ suspicions that the fish kill was caused by a disease outbreak. They had observed white or brown patches on the gills of afflicted fish as critical clinical signs of an infection. Furthermore, the mortality only affected farmed carp and not wild fish. Virologic analysis commissioned by WHO and FAO – in Jordan and Italy respectively – also confirmed the Swiss laboratories’ findings.

“WHO was very concerned about this incident which could have posed a public health risk to communities in Babylon governorate and beyond. However, after confirming that the outbreak is due to a viral infection, WHO is confident that fish consumption has no effect on human health,” confirmed Mr. Mohamed Hamasha, Senior Environmental Health Expert and Mr. Soren Madison, Food Safety Adviser at WHO.

“High loads of Cyprinid herpesvirus DNA in the gill, kidney and brain fish tissue revealed that the carp suffered from the Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) disease,” affirmed Dr. Thomas Wahli, who heads the Swiss Reference Laboratory for Notifiable Diseases. “KHV is a very serious and lethal disease that is known to cause almost 100 percent mortality rates in carps,” he added. The Principal Virologist at the UK’s International Centre of Excellence for Aquatic Animal Health (CEFAS), Dr. Richard Paley, also agreed that “while overstocking and transient water quality issues such as low dissolved oxygen levels may have stressed the fish and helped propagate the virus, given the current information, one can reasonably conclude that the root cause of this mass fish kill episode is KHV disease.”

With Euphrates River water temperature dropping to 23-25°C in November, an optimal environment was created for the CyHV-3 virus, which flourishes between 16-28°C. Reports of similar small-scale fish kill incidents in multiple pockets in western and central Iraq further validated the occurrence of a wider epidemic.

“The outbreak may represent development of the disease in latently infected fish due to stressor events or perhaps more likely, based on the size of the event, introduction of infected animals into naïve stocks with no previous exposure or immune protection, indicating a recent introduction”, reckoned Dr. Paley.

“This is the first case of Koi Herpes Virus disease in Iraq, and it is a significant case report which will need to be notified to the World Organisation for Animal Health,” underlined Minister Alwan.

“We are pleased to have been able to get to the bottom of this difficult case and intend to build on this experience to improve our environmental surveillance and diagnostic capacity, particularly for viral diseases, so that we can properly investigate such events. Meanwhile, we need to control fish farm numbers and raise farmers’ awareness on the appropriate procedures to follow to prevent and rapidly contain similar outbreaks in the future,” he asserted.

(Source: UN Environment Programme)

By John Lee.

Zain Iraq and Ericsson have announced an Internet of Things (IoT) competition for university students in Iraq.

The first-of-its-kind competition will run for six weeks during which the students are invited to present use cases to address the possibilities of 5G-IoT and industry digitalization and ultimately capture their full business potential.

The competition is supported by the Communication and Media Commission (CMC) in Iraq as part of its initiative (Du3M 2025) with an aim to engage millennials from top Iraqi universities in identifying innovations that will transform the way they live, work and learn.

Dr. Ali N. Al-Khwilidi, Chief Executive Officer of CMC said:

“IoT is being widely embraced with the number of connected devices growing rapidly. The IoT competition for universities allows students to unleash their potential in the IoT domain and actively involve talented Iraqi youth in the country’s evolution towards a connected society.”

Around 29 billion connected devices are forecast by 2022, of which around 18 billion will be related to IoT. Connected IoT devices include connected cars, machines, meters, sensors, point-of-sales terminals, consumer electronics and wearables. Between 2016 and 2022, IoT devices are expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21%, driven by new use cases.

Ali Al Zahid, Chief Executive Officer at Zain Iraq, said:

“IoT supports digital transformation and development of new business models and offerings. This competition will enable the Iraqi youth to share their technology innovations and act as a platform to facilitate the country’s digital transformation.”

The collaboration between Zain Iraq, Ericsson and CMC is a continuation of the series of initiatives to help turn the communications sector in the Middle East and Africa into one of the most dynamic and vibrant in the world.

Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Ericsson Middle East & Africa says:

“With 20 billion IoT devices predicted in the next five years, there is an array of untapped business opportunities. Our joint initiative with Zain Iraq and CMC aims to create sustainable value and eventually make a positive impact on business, people and society in Iraq. By engaging with students, we share our knowledge on the latest advanced technologies and capitalize on their innovative thinking towards a connected future.”

(Source: Ericsson)

The National Investment Commission (NIC) and the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) have announced the investment opportunity to build Nasriya International Airport.

The airport is located to the south–west of Imam Ali (PBUH) air force base in Thi Qar province.

The area of the passengers terminal is 3000m².

Interested foreign and local companies can apply by filling the investment licenses available on our website and submit all required documents to our email address info@investpromo.gov.iq within 45 days from the date of announcing this advertisement.

For more information, please contact the Civil Aviation Authority headquarters:

Baghdad International Airport/ third floor

info@icaa.gov.iq

P.O Box: 23006 BIAP

(Source: NIC)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC), along with investment commissions in the provinces, granted 257 investment licenses during 2018.

According to a statement from the NIC, this represents a combined investment of more than 8 billion dollars in the Iraqi economy.

Four of these licenses were issued for strategic projects at a cost of more than 3 billion dollars.

Of the total of 257 licences, 88 were granted directly by the NIC, and these were spread over 12 sectors as follows: Trade sector, 21 investment licences; Entertainment sector, 1 investment licence; Telecommunication sector, 1 investment licence; Education sector, 6 investment licences; Services sector, 4 investment licences; Sport sector, 4 investment licences; Agriculture sector, 3 investment licences; Housing sector, 8 investment licences; Tourism sector, 4 investment licences; Health sector, 6 investment licences; Industrial sector, 16 investment licences, Electricity sector, 14 investment licences (2 for power stations, 12 for charging).

The source pointed out that the number of licenses granted by the investment commissions in the provinces other than the provinces of Kurdistan Region was (169) investment licenses. – 12 investment licenses for Anbar- 66 investment licenses for Baghdad- 10 investment licenses for Holly Karbala- 26 investment licenses for Wasit- 32 investment licenses for Muthana- 15 investment licenses for Kirkuk.

(Source: NIC)

The biggest robbery in history .. How lost 500 billion dollars of Iraq’s money?


2/24/2019

Equivalent to the sum spent by the Gulf States combined in one year, and building 600 skyscrapers the size and cost of the World Trade Tower WTCin New York City; more than $ 500 billion is the amount of money lost by Iraq from corruption, since the fall of the former regime on April 9, 200 until 2019 , According to statistics and experts in the economy and official data.


For many Iraqis, talk about the extent of government corruption and its "horrendous" figures seems futile.

They absolutely believe that they live in the most corrupt countries in the world. They see it in the media, the street and the institutions, and in the statements and speeches of the officials.


Iraqis were skeptical of these figures and counted them as insufficient to count the successive governments’ misfortunes and wealth to place Iraq in the ranks of the superpowers.


"The financial and administrative corruption in Iraq is not a matter of figures," said former MP and head of the Iraqi Umma Party, Mithal Al-Alusi.

"What Iraq lost is more than a few times what the Integrity Commission and the competent authorities are talking about." He said that "astronomical budgets went into the pockets of the parties by dividing them, It was, how they steal more. "


Al-Alusi asserts that "corruption has left only a door and its methods in all sectors, institutions and files, and left us a huge number of projects and billions of dollars as foreign debts, as well as the destruction of investment and infrastructure and destroy all the potential of the state."


In April 2003, the financial imports of Iraq since the US invasion and the fall of the former regime exceeded $ 1,000 billion, half of which went to the imaginary investment budget, the symbol of "the greatest corruption," according to the Parliamentary Integrity Commission. Iraq has lost,

as the Commission says, more than $ 350 billion through the smuggling of currency and the Central Bank auction, and contracts and projects phantom and slow since 2003 until the moment.


In an earlier statement to Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, he said that "corruption has lost the country 450 billion dollars with the presence of local wheat to government employees by 6%, that is 20 minutes of work a day," stressing that "Iraq’s budgets since 2003 to the year of 850 Billion dollar".


Abdul-Mahdi announced at the end of last month the formation of a higher council to "fight corruption", which will open all files and hold those responsible accountable, but that the Council "will not work" according to specialists, such as the Integrity Commission and the offices of the inspectors general, Counterterrorism Agency in the fight against corruption.

http://aynaliraqnews.com/index.php?aa=news&id22=114394

The EU has announced an additional €30 million in humanitarian assistance. Another €20 million in development funding will contribute to the reconstruction of the country’s cultural heritage, as well as the creation of jobs and opportunities for vulnerable youth.

The announcement was made by Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides (pictured), on the occasion of his sixth visit to Iraq today.

Commissioner Stylianides said:

Each time I visit Iraq, I see the hope of its people despite the challenging circumstances. At this critical moment for the country, our new funding reaffirms the EU’s commitment to stand in solidarity with all Iraqis and will help the most vulnerable.”

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica added:

The EU is committed to the reconstruction of Iraq. With today’s new support, we will help to restore the rich cultural heritage of Mosul and Basrah, and at the same time create much needed jobs and opportunities.”

Whilst in Iraq, Commissioner Stylianides, alongside Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, visited Mosul, where schools and hospitals are being supported by EU funding to help the most vulnerable get access to essential services. In Erbil, the Commissioner visited camps hosting thousands displaced by conflict. In Baghdad, the Commissioner held meetings with the Iraqi authorities.

Humanitarian assistance: The new EU humanitarian assistance worth €30 million will include protection, emergency healthcare, basic shelter, food, safe water, sanitation and hygiene to those in the greatest need throughout the country. These include Iraqis who remain displaced and Syrian refugees in Iraq. It will provide mental health support, increasing services for survivors of sexual violence, and ensuring physical therapy and rehabilitation to war-wounded. Furthermore, the EU will support the resumption of basic public services including health, education, and water supply in war-affected areas, such as Mosul, western Anbar and Hawija.

Development cooperation: The €20 million development cooperation will provide tailored technical and vocation training opportunities for youth in the construction sector, to help to recover the historic urban landscape of Mosul and Basrah. In addition, it will provide small grants to Small and Medium Enterprises and associations, with a focus on the revival of socio-economic and cultural activities. This funding, to be signed on 21 February, is part of the flagship initiative ‘Revive the Spirit of Mosul’ run by UNESCO, and designed to foster social cohesion and promote peace. With the full support of the Government of Iraq, the initiative will focus the restoration and rehabilitation of cultural heritage, as well as the revival of educational and cultural institutions. This measure is part of the EU’s pledge at the Iraq Reconstruction Conference held in Kuwait in February 2018.

Today’s funding announcement brings total EU humanitarian assistance to Iraq to €420 million and development cooperation to €309 million since the beginning of the crisis in 2015.

(Source: EU)

Customs calls on importers to quickly clear their goods and otherwise consider them smuggled
2/19/2019

The Customs Authority on Tuesday urged all importers to expedite the clearance of their goods, indicating that those who delay will be considered smuggling.

"Iraqi and foreign companies and importers must complete the customs transactions of their imported goods through southern ports, land border crossings and air cargo terminals through international airports as soon as possible and adopt the customs clearance companies officially licensed by the Director General in the clearance," the agency said in a statement. Their goods exclusively ".


"As of 20 February, all containers of goods whose owners are delayed in their release will be considered as smuggling under the provisions of Article 192/1 of the Customs Law.

The Commission expressed its hope of all importers to follow up earnestly to clear their goods from the customs estate without exceeding the legal time limit and to miss the opportunity of the weak souls who are trying to obstruct the implementation of government decisions aimed at regulating trade and combating the phenomenon of corruption at the border crossing points.

In granting approvals and simplifying procedures for the import or export of goods to ensure smooth trade exchange with neighboring countries and the world. "

The customs departments shall operate in the customs and customs boundaries and may exercise their powers throughout the territory, the territorial sea and inland waters, including lakes, rivers, marshes and marshes in accordance with the provisions of this law.

http://non14.net/109240/