By John Lee.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing over $26 million in a new 161-bed hospital in Erbil in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The facility will increase the availability of quality healthcare services and help address gaps in the country’s healthcare infrastructure. The $92 million Seema Hospital project is expected to open its doors in 2021. In addition to providing core health services, it will be one of the city’s first private hospitals with oncology, radiotherapy, and burn units.

Treatment capacity in existing public and private healthcare facilities in Iraq is limited, with damages to the system estimated at $2.3 billion because of the conflict, according to a World Bank report. The hospital is owned by the Macrom Company for General Trading.

Yaseen Al Bazzaz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Macrom Company for General Trading, said

“Since opening our first hospital in 2006, we have grown into a leading provider of specialized health care services … Hundreds of patients are traveling desperately to neighboring countries for their medical needs. This will change once Seema Hospital opens and provides top-notch healthcare solutions.”

IFC is also contributing technical expertise, advising on environmental and social best practices, and providing guidance on corporate governance. The project is part of the World Bank Group’s strategy in Iraq to develop social infrastructure. Seema Hospital also will be one of the first buildings in Iraq to be certified by IFC EDGE, a platform that helps to determine the most cost-effective options for designing green buildings.

Tomasz Telma, IFC’s Senior Director for Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Services, said:

“Iraq is a priority country for IFC, and we are committed to supporting its economic growth and health infrastructure … Investing in quality hospitals helps improve care, especially where there is often limited access to effective secondary and tertiary facilities, and introduce expertise, technology, and best practices to these markets.”  

IFC has increased its investments in Iraq during the last decade. Its committed portfolio stands at about $254 million, up from $20 million in 2010.

As Iraq and other countries battle COVID-19, the World Bank Group, in response to the crisis, has announced $14 billion package of financing to help support  countries to strengthen health systems and improve disease surveillance worldwide.

(Source: IFC)

By John Lee.

Harekar Company for Security Services LLC has won a contract with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to supply Vehicle Rental Services for the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) Iraq Programme in Erbil.

The contract is worth $119,700.

(Source: UNGM)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s Ministry of Planning, in order to provide strategic guidance and technical support for the development of KRG Vision 2030.

Held in Erbil on 03 February 2020, the signing reaffirms the Region’s commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Minister of Planning at the Kurdistan Regional Government, Dr. Dara Rashid Mahmud, said:

“The people of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq have been through a lot in the past years. They deserve a better life and upgraded social, economic and environmental conditions.

“We are confident that our strategic partnership with UNDP will provide us with the necessary tools and means to achieve sustainable development in a way that meets the aspirations of our people.”

Resident Representative of UNDP Iraq, Ms. Zena Ali Ahmed, said:

The global Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development emphasizes that no one should be left behind. This is precisely what we are working to achieve in Iraq by this expanded partnership with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

“The foundations for this work were established through our earlier cooperation, including the previous support to KRG Vision 2020. Only through sustainable development will the Region and Iraq realize sustainable peace and justice.”

The MoU provides a framework for cooperation to implement and monitor progress towards the SDGs in the Kurdistan Region, as part of broader efforts to achieve the SDGs in Iraq. It focuses on strengthening the institutional and analytical capacity of relevant stakeholders, including to meet the challenges of transitioning from a crisis to a sustainable development context.

Vision 2030 will be aligned with the new Government Programme 2019-2023, addressing reforms, service delivery, freedoms, democracy and coexistence, economy and finance, among other priorities.

Detailed information about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs can be found here: sustainabledevelopment.un.org

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

Bahrain’s Gulf Air has resumed services to Erbil International Airport (EIA).

At the inaugural event in Erbil International Airport, Capt. Suhail Ismaeel said:

“We’re happy to return to Erbil and operate direct flights to and from this Iraqi city … With three weekly direct flights between Bahrain and Erbil supplemented with great connectivity through our hub, this destination promises to be a key route within our growing network.”

Gulf Air’s flights to Erbil will further strengthen the airline’s existing Iraqi routes of Baghdad and Najaf.

(Source: Gulf Air)

By John Lee.

Florida-based Scientia Global Inc. has been awarded a $12,149,039 firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales (Iraq) contract to procure combat effective Digital Mobile Radio Tier III equipment, development, deployment, training and support services.

One bid was solicited via the internet with one bid received.

Work will be performed in Erbil, Iraq; and Melbourne, Florida, with an estimated completion date of April 29, 2022.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

By John Lee.

Florida-based Scientia Global Inc. has been awarded a $12,149,039 firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales (Iraq) contract to procure combat effective Digital Mobile Radio Tier III equipment, development, deployment, training and support services.

One bid was solicited via the internet with one bid received.

Work will be performed in Erbil, Iraq; and Melbourne, Florida, with an estimated completion date of April 29, 2022.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

The first ever Leading Brands Iraq award ceremony was hosted at Rotana Hotel Erbil, Iraq.

Popular brands of consumer goods in Iraq have received their awards in a ceremony attended by representatives of the Iraqi central government and the KRG, delegates of leading brands as well as academics and media. Kurdmax TV recorded the event co-sponsored by Al Sharqiya TV and Rudaw TV. Ms Kazhan Abdul served as event presenter.

In his opening speech, LBI Advisory Board Chairman Prof Dr Ibrahim Sirkeci (Regent’s University London) presented the aims and methodology of LBI highlighting growth opportunities in Iraq and sharing statistics on the country.

The consortium organising the Leading Brands Iraq event is led by ScorePR while Nish Research Iraq has been running regular consumer surveys and market analysis. The leading brands were solely determined by analysis of survey data while the technical team behind has used robust statistical techniques in preparing rankings and sector based reports.

Ministerial speeches were given by Dr Ammar Saadun, representative of the Iraqi Ministry of Trade, and by adviser on economic relations Mr Fathi Mudaris, representative of the KRG Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Well known academics and experts from the UK delivered keynote speeches reflecting on branding and brand building processes. Prof. Finola Kerrigan (University of Birmingham) emphasised the importance of heritage in brand building while Dr. Phil Clements discussed the potential of Erbil as a location in respect to MICE, the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions sector.

LBI Project Director Dr. Sinan Zeyneloglu announced the SCORE points of Leading Brands in each category. International brands as well as local brands from Iraq and the KRI have achieved leading brand status for entire Iraq as well as for Kurdistan separately in the categories given below:

Carbonated Beverage
Chocolate
Cooking Oil
GSM Operator
Home Appliances
Laundry Detergent
Mobile Phone
Paper Towel
Powdered Milk
Queshta
Sanitary Pad
Shampoo
Soap
Tea
Toilet Paper
Tomato Paste
TV

Representatives of companies achieving leading brand status were excited and supportive of the organisation on and off the stage.

A full list of leading brands as well as pictures of the event can be seen at http://leadingbrandsiraq.com/en/pages/lbi-2019

A 10-min summary video of the event is posted on https://youtu.be/VOm5EMYKplg

(Source: Leading Brands Iraq)

The Ninewa Investment Forum is taking place from 3rd to 5th December in Erbil.

This two-day event will showcase investment-ready businesses to private investors from around the world.

Presenting a portfolio of very attractive investment opportunities will spark a virtuous cycle of both exciting project opportunities and increased investor confidence.

The event is organized by the Iraq Governance and Performance Accountability (IGPA) project, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and will feature experts and speakers in international investment and development.

The Forum represents a unique collaboration between the U.S. and Iraqi private and public sectors to support communities in Ninewa through catalytic investment opportunities.

Register now

Registration is open to qualified individuals on a space-availability basis. All registration will be confirmed by the Ninewa Investment Forum team.

(Source: Invest in Ninewa)

By John Lee.

Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has announced the resumption of its direct services between Bahrain and Erbil in Iraq; further strengthening the airline’s existing Iraqi routes of Baghdad and Najaf.

The airline’s services to Erbil will commence on 02 February 2020, and will see Gulf Air’s three weekly flights between Bahrain International Airport and Erbil International Airport operated with an Airbus A320 aircraft.

(Source: Gulf Air)

By John Lee.

The Arab Swiss Engineering Company (ASEC) has reportedly signed a three-year agreement with Iraq’s KAR Group for the operation and maintenance of the Qarachough [Qarachog] Cement Plant near Erbil.

According to World Cement, the plant has a capacity of 1.9 million tonnes per year.

(Source: World Cement)