By John Lee.

Iraq has been ranked 171st out of 190 countries in the World Bank‘s recent Doing Business 2019 report, down from 168th place the previous year.

Top of the list were New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark, with last place going to Somalia, just behind Eritrea and Venezuela. Iran ranked 128th, with Libya 186th.

Doing Business measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also measures labor market regulation, which is not included in this year’s ranking.

More details here.

(Source: World Bank)

UNDP and Denmark Support Mid – Level Police Management Training in Iraq for Citizen Service Oriented Policing

On 11 November 2018 UNDP and Danish National Police started the first of a series of Mid-Level Police Management Training Courses for the Local Police in Iraq.

The courses are developed and delivered in close collaboration with the Ministry of Interior’s Training and Qualification Directorate. Each course duration is three weeks and, a total of 300 police officers from liberated and, other provinces in Iraq are expected to benefit from the training.

The key objectives of the course are to:

  • advance the implementation of the Local Police Road Map and, its reform priorities through leadership development at both national and provincial levels.
  • motivate police mid-level leadership to lead Iraqi police transformation from a fighting force to a public security service in post – ISIL Iraq with modern managerial techniques and, skills in-line with national and international standards.

The Danish Ambassador Gert Meinecke expressed, that he hopes “the training courses will contribute to successful transformation of the Local Police Service Road Map into tangible action on the ground”.

Wishing all participants a successful course the Danish National Police Commissioner, Jens Henrik Hoejbjerg said:

“Danish police have a lot to offer internationally. Therefore, I am pleased that Danish police officers will be responsible for the training of mid-level police managers for the Iraqi police. I have no doubt that we can contribute to the fact that both the Iraqi police and the Iraqi communities continue to move forward and develop”.

UNDP Acting Country Director Gerardo Noto added:

… improving Local Police Service is an identified key priority within the Government of Iraq’s ongoing Security Sector Reform Programme under the system priority Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement that is supporting by UNDP and International Partners.

“Therefore, leadership development is a key precursor in the overall implementation of the Government’s Security Sector Programme as a fundamental pillar for rule of law and building sustainable peaceful societies.”

UNDP is grateful to Denmark for its generous funding and, for the highly experienced police trainers to conduct the Mid – Level Management Courses to Iraqi Police.

(Source: UNDP)

UNODC Launches New Counter-terrorism Programme in Iraq, To Open Baghdad Office

Within the framework of the fruitful cooperation between Iraq and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) officially launched today its new programme for Iraq (2018-2019) on the “Lessons learned from Iraq’s counter-terrorism efforts and response to future challenges: Iraq after Dae’sh”, and announced the plan to open an office in Baghdad.

The launch was made at a event in Baghdad under the patronage of His Excellency Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi. At the event, Iraqi representatives shared the lessons learnt and the best practices from fighting Dae’sh in Iraq.

Ending the scourge of terrorism and protecting people is a priority that concerns us all,” said UNODC Executive Director Mr. Yuri Fedotov. He added that this event was a testament to the strong partnership between Iraq and UNODC.

With the rise of terrorism in Iraq, UNODC multiplied its efforts in providing counter-terrorism legal technical assistance and capacity building assistance to its Government.

Also speaking at the event, Ms. Christine Albertin (pictured), UNODC Representative for Middle East and North Africa said: “Iraq suffered most from terrorism, being the greatest victim of terrorist activities in the region and a target of several terrorist groups and militants.

Ms. Albertin added:

“With the rise of terrorism in Iraq, UNODC has enhanced its response and multiplied its efforts in providing counter-terrorism legal technical assistance and capacity-building assistance to the Government by training of hundreds of competent law enforcement officers and criminal justice officers. As a result of these activities and capacity-building measures, important outcomes and substantial milestones have been reached like, for example, an increase in criminal justice investigators who have started using new investigation techniques and tools, better understanding of Special Investigation techniques, and the development of the methodology in obtaining and processing digital evidence. Together with the outstanding efforts by the Government, rates of mortality due to terrorism have dropped and schooling rates have gone up”.

The UNODC/TPB programmes for Iraq have been generously funded by the Government of Japan since 2014. Additional contributions from the Government of Denmark were received in 2017.

(Source: UN)

Denmark has contributed an additional US$ 21.4 million (DKK 135 million) to UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), which finances fast-track initiatives to stabilize areas liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

This brings Denmark’s total contribution since 2015 to US$ 38.1 million (DKK 246 million).

UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, said:

“It is truly impressive to see the progress that is being made in newly liberated areas. More than half of all of the nearly six million people who fled their homes during the conflict have returned. Accelerating stabilization so the 2.6 million people who are still displaced can go home and rebuild their lives is one of Iraq’s highest priorities.”

The Danish Ambassador to Iraq, H.E. Gert Meinecke, said:

Denmark congratulates the Iraqi people and the Iraqi Security Forces on the continued success in liberating Iraq from ISIL, with support from the International Coalition. Rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and reestablishing public services remain critical to enable the return of people displaced by the conflict.

“This additional contribution to the Funding Facility for Stabilization, together with our funding for mine action and our support to strengthen the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces, demonstrates Denmark’s continued commitment to support stability in Iraq.

At the request of the Government of Iraq, UNDP established the Funding Facility for Stabilization in June 2015 to facilitate the return of displaced Iraqis, lay the groundwork for reconstruction and recovery, and safeguard against the resurgence of violence and extremism.

The Facility currently has more than 1,600 projects underway in 23 liberated cities and districts, helping local authorities to quickly rehabilitate essential infrastructure. More than 95 percent of all stabilization projects are done by the local private sector employing local labour.

(Source: UNDP)

By John Lee.

Iraq has been ranked 168th out of 190 countries in the World Bank‘s recent Doing Business 2018 report, down from 165th place the previous year.

Despite the fall in the rankings, the report notes that over the previous year Iraq simplified the process of starting a business by combining multiple registration procedures and reducing the time to register a company, and it launched a new credit registry, improving access to credit information.

Top of the list were New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark, with last place going to Somalia, just behind Eritrea and Venezuela. Iran ranked 124th, with Libya 185th.

Doing Business measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also measures labor market regulation, which is not included in this year’s ranking.

(Source: World Bank)

By John Lee.

Iraq has been ranked 168th out of 190 countries in the World Bank‘s recent Doing Business 2018 report, down from 165th place the previous year.

Despite the fall in the rankings, the report notes that over the previous year Iraq simplified the process of starting a business by combining multiple registration procedures and reducing the time to register a company, and it launched a new credit registry, improving access to credit information.

Top of the list were New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark, with last place going to Somalia, just behind Eritrea and Venezuela. Iran ranked 124th, with Libya 185th.

Doing Business measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also measures labor market regulation, which is not included in this year’s ranking.

(Source: World Bank)

Danish-based DAMM Cellular Systems has provided voice and data communication systems to Erbil International Airport (EIA).

Local DAMM system partner Sabaaco, a specialist in secure communications, installed the solution in close collaboration with DAMM.

(Source: DAMM)

The Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) has installed water desalination stations for the displaced families in Qayarah and Erbil camps.

The IRCS has reported, “the IRCS teams in Erbil center have installed water station (m40) with a capacity of 600 thousand liters to provide water for more than 40,000 displaced at Khazer and Hasan Al-Sham camps in collaboration with France Red Cross.

While in Salahuldin center, the IRCS teams have also installed water desalination stations (RO) for the displaced families from Mosul in Jada camps and Madraj camp in Qayarah district, in cooperation with the Danish Refugees Council (DRC), in order to provide water for more than 1000 displaced people, a team trained by the IRCS are operating these stations.

The IRCS has installed water purification stations (RO) in six Iraqi governorates, to provide the drinkable water for the families in the outback and the far areas from the center of the governorates.

(Source: IRCS)

The European Commission is currently working alongside EU Member States to facilitate emergency aid deliveries in Iraq, to help people affected by the crisis in Mosul.

Three additional planes carrying emergency assistance from Austria and France have now touched ground in Iraq, bringing the total number of flights facilitated and co-financed by the Commission to nine.

To date, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, Sweden as well as Norway have offered over 266 tonnes (1636 cubic metres) of relief assistance through the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism to assist civilians displaced due to the Mosul military operations.

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, said:

“The EU’s aid operations in Iraq have now delivered urgently needed material such as tents, blankets, generators, hygiene articles, five tonnes of medicine and medical equipment. Let me thank all countries who have channelled support through the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism.

“This aid can make a real difference for civilians trapped inside Mosul and other locations affected by the conflict and those displaced by the fighting who are facing extremely dire conditions.  It is crucial to ensure the protection of all civilians and the respect of International Humanitarian Law during and after the conduct of hostilities.”

Winterisation support and emergency trauma care are key priorities. Additional material will be shipped to Iraq in the coming weeks. The material assistance complements the EU’s humanitarian aid to Iraq, the sum of which is over €159 million in 2016 alone.

In December 2016, a cargo plane carrying close to 40 tonnes (more than 290 cubic metres) of emergency supplies landed in Erbil, Iraq, in the first of several operations organised jointly by the European Commission and Member States.

(Source: European Commission)

Danish-based FLSmidth has signed a contract worth more than $200 million with the Iraqi Cement Company, to supply a total of 6,000 tonnes of cement per day to the production line for the Al Muthana region.

The contract is a full EPC order, comprising engineering, all FLSmidth equipment supplies, erection and construction, as well as commissioning and training once completed. The cement plant will produce 6,000 tonnes per day and will feature state-of-the-art equipment, including the latest technology to ensure an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient production process.

Group Executive Vice President of the Cement Division, Per Mejnert Kristensen (pictured), said:

By signing the contract, Iraq Cement Co. is making the first step in raising financing for the project, which is an important milestone in their pursuit to realise the project. We are pleased to have been selected to support them on that journey.

“FLSmidth has a long history in Iraq and the Middle East, and is maintaining its leading role in serving the rapidly expanding cement market. The growing economy and increasing infrastructure investments in the region continue to offer business opportunities.

The contract is worth more than $200 million and is among several others, subject to receipt of the down payment by FLSmidth. Until all conditions are met and the contract becomes effective, it will not be part of the order intake. A separate company announcement will be issued when the order becomes effective.

(Source: FLSmidth)