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)

URGENT DEMOCRACY: We will give up the presidency of the provincial parliament once the agreement with the National

[Erbil: Euphrates News} The Kurdistan Democratic Party bloc announced therenunciation of the presidency of the parliament of the province once the agreement with the National.

The head of the bloc, Omid Khoshnao, told a news conference held inside the parliament building of Kurdistan, attended by the correspondent of the { Euphrates News } on Monday, "It was hoped that the National Union exists but the negotiations did not succeed in resolving the matter, and it was necessary to hold the meeting and not to delay, To elect a speaker. "

He pointed out that "when an understanding with the National Union on the February 5 agreements, we give up the post of president in favor of the National Union .…storyid=188888

URGENT Parliament of Kurdistan raises its meeting to another notice


(Baghdad: Al-Furat News) The Presidency of the Council of Representatives in the Kurdistan region, the meeting was adjourned to another notice.

The meeting of the parliament of Kurdistan on Monday, for the election of the presidency, amid the province of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Islamic Group, while the members of the Kurdistan Islamic Union withdrew from the meeting before the commencement of the procedures for the election of the presidency.

Revink Hrory chaired the session as the oldest member, after which he opened the door for those wishing to progress to the presidency of the Parliament of Kurdistan.

The Democratic Party nominated Fala Farid as the interim speaker of the parliament, while the new generation, Siban Amidi, was nominated for the same post, with reference to the eligibility of the National Union for the post.

Also announced the head of the Democratic Party bloc, Omid Khoshnao, the nomination of Hinam Hawrami for the post of deputy speaker of the Parliament of Kurdistan, in turn nominated the new generation bloc, Kawa Abdul Qadir to the post.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) candidate, Fala Farid, was elected to the post of speaker of parliament in Kurdistan, where she won 64 votes in the session held today in Erbil.

She competed with Vla Farid, the candidate of the new generation bloc, Siban Amidi, and got 8 votes, with 3 white votes.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) candidate, Hameen Hawrami, was elected to the post of First Deputy Speaker of Parliament while the deputy for the Turkmen component, Mona Kahwagi, was elected as second deputy.

Hawrami received 68 votes, compared to 8 votes for MP Kawa Abdul Qadir of the new generation movement, while Mona Kahwagi received 60 votes.…storyid=188905

The freezing of the money of a money exchange company in Erbil and two persons on charges of financing terrorism

The Committee on the freezing of terrorist funds on Wednesday issued a decision to freeze the money of a money exchange company in Erbil and two persons on charges of financing terrorism.

According to the decision, "based on the book of the Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism … the Committee on the freezing of terrorist funds at its first regular session, the freezing of movable and immovable funds and persons listed by Dubai Horizons to mediate the sale and purchase of foreign currency in the province of Erbil, Omar Abd Al Halim Muttani, the Company’s Managing Director, with a 49% contribution, and Nakar Akram Osman, Deputy Managing Director of the Company with 51% contribution.

The Committee noted that the decision "shall be implemented as of the date of its issuance".It referred to the "generalization of this decision on the ministries and entities not associated with the Ministry and the provinces and all provincial councils and financial and non-financial institutions and the relevant departments for the purpose of taking appropriate actions on the entity and persons referred to above."

"This decision will be published immediately in the Official Gazette and the AML / CFT website," she said.Earlier in the day, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on an Iraqi-based financial firm involved in supporting the terrorist organization The ministry said in a statement that the Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on the company "Horizons Dubai" exchange because it was diverting funds to favor in Syria and Iraq and provide him with financial or technological support or other services.

"Dubai Horizons" is part of the financial network linked to Dahesh’s support and includes companies providing financial services, remittances, and facilitators of financial transactions in the Middle East.

IBBC signs Memorandum of Understanding with the German Liaison Office for Commerce & Industry

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) and the German Liaison Office for Industry and Commerce in Iraq (DWI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase cooperation between the organisations to support and grow trade between the UK, Europe and Iraq.

The cooperation will involve reciprocatory promotion of events, the organising of joint events and invitation to major events.

The German Liaison Office for Industry and Commerce in Iraq (DWI) Baghdad and Erbil is the representative office of the German economy in Iraq and accomplishes the tasks of the German Chamber of Commerce (AHK). It was founded in 2010 and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) of the Federal Republic of Germany. They currently support about 600 companies, among them about 30 German company branches working in Iraq or in the autonomous region of Kurdistan. In addition to representing the interests of German companies, he German Liaison Office for Industry and Commerce in Iraq supports the economic exchange between Iraq and Germany.

IBBC is delighted to have signed this Memorandum of Understanding, which further boosts our growing international network for the benefit of our members and the people of Iraq.

For more information on DWI, visit:

You can see the full list of IBBC partners here.

(Source: IBBC)

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today announced 2018 net profit of USD 354 million on revenues of USD 829 million, the highest annual revenues in the Company’s 47-year history. Cash flow from operations increased 40 percent to USD 472 million in 2018, of which USD 334 million represented free cash flow.

Operated production averaged 117,600 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) including 81,700 boepd on a Company Working Interest (CWI) basis, up from 113,500 boepd and 73,700 boepd, respectively, during 2017. January 2019 operated production averaged 128,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) or 90,000 bopd on a CWI basis.

The Company stepped up its operational spend in 2018 to nearly USD 300 million to support the fast-track development of the Peshkabir field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and the ongoing drilling program at the Tawke field within the same license.

Spending levels in 2019 are projected to rise more than 40 percent from 2018 levels to an estimated USD 420 million. DNO’s 2019 drilling program includes up to 20 exploration and production wells in Kurdistan, including up to 14 wells at the Tawke field, four at Peshkabir and two at the Baeshiqa license. Another five wells are planned in Norway on DNO’s licenses.

In Kurdistan, two recently completed wells, Peshkabir-9 and Tawke-52, will be placed on production in February. Testing of the first Baeshiqa exploration well targeting the Cretaceous reservoir has been delayed by extensive rainfall but is also expected to commence this month.

Already the leading international oil company in Kurdistan, with a 75 percent operating interest in fields contributing a third of the region’s total exports, the Company is now firmly establishing itself in Norway as it completes the takeover of Faroe Petroleum plc. With 90 licenses, of which 22 are operated, DNO will leapfrog to the ranks of the top five companies in total licenses held in Norway.

“The Faroe transaction transforms DNO into a more diversified company with a strong, second leg,” said DNO’s Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani. “This represents not a pivot away from Kurdistan but a pivot to Norway,” he added. “We are now well positioned in two areas in which we have a comparative, even competitive, advantage.”

The combination places DNO among the top three European-listed independent oil and gas companies in production and reserves.

DNO has acquired more than 96 percent of Faroe shares and initiated the compulsory acquisition of the remaining shares. The integration of the Faroe and DNO organizations is well underway; the new combined entity has over 1,100 employees and offices in Oslo, Stavanger, Erbil, Dubai, London, Aberdeen and Great Yarmouth.

The Company will release pro-forma financials and 2019 investment programs and budgets for the combined entity in February and March.

Separately, DNO’s Board of Directors have approved a dividend payment of NOK 0.20 per share to be made on or about 27 March 2019 to all shareholders of record as of 18 March 2019. DNO shares will be traded ex-dividend as of 15 March 2019.

(Source: DNO)

By John Lee.

UAE-based Rotana Hotels has signed a hotel management agreement with Al Ibaa Company to operate a five-star property in Baghdad.

Effective 1 February 2019, Rotana will operate the city’s famed Babylon Hotel under its new brand name Babylon Rotana Baghdad.

With a prime location next to the high-security Green Zone, close to the banks of the famous Tigris River and just 30 minutes’ drive from Baghdad International Airport, Babylon Rotana will offer long and short-staying guests alike all the comfort required for a pleasant and memorable stay experience.

Boasting avant-garde architecture, the hotel features 284 spacious and modern rooms and suites with stunning views of Baghdad’s skyline and the majestic Tigris River. The hotel’s striking pyramid design and extensive gardens are truly fitting to the Babylonian heritage of the city.

Imad Al Yasri, Chairman, Al Ibaa Company, commented:

“It gives us immense pleasure to partner with Rotana to operate our five-star property in Baghdad, and we are excited about the planned upgrade and refurbishment of the hotel. We are confident that the partnership with Rotana will present a compelling value proposition for our guests, employees, and stakeholders, and further drive our business growth. We look forward to working closely with Rotana to enhance the overall performance of the hotel, thereby contributing to the development of a thriving hospitality market in the capital city.”

Commenting on the agreement, Guy Hutchinson, Acting CEO, Rotana, said:

“At Rotana, we are delighted to have made a strong start to the New Year with the signing of the agreement to operate the Babylon Rotana Baghdad. This new milestone is closely aligned with our vision to further deepen our footprint in the region and cement our leadership position in the hospitality sector.

As a result of its ambitious reconstruction efforts, Iraq has achieved tremendous progress in accelerating economic growth and development and improving the security environment in the country over the last few years. Likewise, the capital Baghdad has been experiencing a robust increase in the number of corporate and leisure travellers, thanks to its greater financial stability and rebounding tourism sector.

“With these prospects, the country is increasingly becoming an attractive market for hospitality investments. At Rotana, we will continue to seek new opportunities to further enhance our presence in this market.

Considered one of the city’s top dining destinations, the hotel’s offerings include five dining venues and a range of authentic regional and international cuisines, with both indoor and outdoor seating areas. To cater to the needs of corporate travellers, the hotel offers an extensive business centre, fully-equipped meeting rooms and event venues, and a ballroom that can host up to 600 guests.

The hotel also features a host of entertainment and leisure offerings, including tennis courts, Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Club, temperature controlled indoor and outdoor Olympic-sized swimming pools, and kids’ play facilities.

Babylon Rotana Baghdad will join the company’s three operating hotels in Iraq, including Erbil Rotana, Erbil Arjaan by Rotana, and Karbala Rayhaan by Rotana, bringing Rotana’s total inventory into 838 operating keys. In the fourth quarter of 2019, Rotana will open Slemani Rotana, Sulaymaniyah, adding 240 rooms to the country’s growing hospitality inventory.

(Source: Rotana)

In order to strengthen the bidders knowledge of UNDP tendering process/e-tendering and procurement rules and regulations, , UNDP Country Office Iraq is planning to conduct two training workshops  for all interested  firms/companies as per the following details:

  1. Training session – 12 February 2019 – Erbil
  2. Training session – 21 February 2019 – Baghdad

All interested firms/companies are kindly requested to send the following information to the UNDP focal point:

  1. Name of the company;
  2. Name of Representative/s (Maximum of two person allowed to take part in the training session).

1. Firms/Companies in Erbil: Sana Jalal:
2. Firms/Companies in Baghdad: Sura Aljuboori:

Nota Bene: The training venue will only be communicated to the firms/companies which will show their interest to participate in the workshops by sending an email to the above focal points.

(Source: UNDP)

Sileman presents three points for success in Iraq


issued a former US ambassador to Iraq , Douglas Silliman , on Tuesday, a statement on ending his tenure in Iraq, while a three – point display to achieve success in the country.

"I have had the honor and the gratitude to serve as US ambassador to Iraq in the last two and a half years, as well as for our efforts to strengthen the economic, security and cultural relations between our two countries," Sulliman said in a statement.

"The United States and our diplomatic missions in Baghdad Erbil strongly supports Iraq’s unity, sovereignty, democracy and prosperity, and the Kurdistan region is stable and effective as part of the Iraqi state . "

"I will leave Iraq with beautiful memories of many of the areas I visited in Iraq. My wife and I were inspired by the diversity of this country and we were touched by the warmth and generosity of its people.

We walked among the date groves in Basra and walked among the remains of Ibrahim’s house in Ur. Nasiriyah , "referring to " we have seen the return of the life of the southern marshes in the beautiful Chabaish and stood at the feet of a lion of Babylon,

and I visited Fallujah Teaching Hospital, which has been restored with US assistance and spoke with the brave fighters of the anti – terrorism in the treatment and rehabilitation of veterans injured in the b Center Dad. "

"The kebabs have been tasted in the markets of Arbil and I have spoken at the American University of Iraq – Sulaymaniyah and visited the Nahum Shrine in Qush.

I will always cherish the experiences and friendships that emerged from the recognition of this vast and beautiful country," he said, noting that "Iraq has made progress over the last two and a half years Although it is difficult to see that progress in the midst of the noise of politics. "

"When I arrived in Iraq as ambassador at the end of the summer of 2016, he was an existential threat to Iraq and the entire region.

At a time when the Iraqi security forces were ready to make heroic efforts to restore Mosul, after a number of fierce battles and the loss of many brave Iraqis, The Iraqi forces and in partnership with the International Alliance led by the United States to liberate Mosul and the expulsion of elements urging them,

"explaining that" the fighting has not yet ended, based on the request of the Iraqi government and in full cooperation with Baghdad, there are still more than 5000 US soldiers continue to work in partnership with the security forces Iraqis in their bases to provide advice, training and equipping them to ensure the permanent defeat of Da’ash and defend the borders of Iraq. "

"The coalition of 74 countries and five international organizations has trained more than 190,000 Iraqi police officers and soldiers," he said.

"With the decline in the security situation in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, the improvement of the security situation and the efforts of the Iraqi government and the United States And other international partners, more than four million displaced Iraqis have returned to their homes in safety and dignity. Minority ethnic and religious communities have also begun to recover after being targeted by genocide. "

"Our economic relations are growing and we are working hard to promote trade and investment between Iraq and the United States. Last month, the embassy cooperated with the Iraqi government and the American Chamber of CommerceTo bring more than 50 American companies to Iraq to establish new trade and investment partnerships,

"explaining that" in light of all this progress I see unlimited opportunities for Iraq in the future, Iraq is a rich country and has an abundance of oil, gas, water and arable land, and has segments of learners Smart people who work hard and also have the support of the United States and dozens of other countries that want to see it transform into an independent, democratic, prosperous and sovereign country.

"By 2025, one million young Iraqis will enter the labor market each year at a time when the government is no longer able To provide employment for all who need to Here, as well as the armed factions beyond the control of the state has imposed its control over many areas of the country , which led to provoke fear and frustration many of the displaced Iraqis and prevented them from returning to their homes, "he said . "

He said that "bureaucracy, corruption and lack of clarity in the procedures impede the pursuit of businessmen to expand their projects in Iraq and create new jobs," wishing success to Iraq. "

Suleiman offered his views on how best to achieve success, which included" Iraq must protect its sovereignty by securing its borders and building troops "Iraq has to work to liberate its economy from corruption and bureaucratic obstacles that prevent businessmen from expanding their projects and creating new job opportunities, and at the gates.…D8%A7%D9%82/ar

A new UK aid package is to help the Government of Iraq to reinvigorate its economy and rebuild hospitals, schools and other vital infrastructure, allowing Iraqis displaced by conflict to return home and restart their lives, UK Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt announced during a four-day visit to Iraq.

The UK is the first donor to the newly formed Iraq Reform and Reconstruction Fund (IRRF), following close cooperation between the Department for International Development (DFID), the Government of Iraq, the World Bank, Germany and other international partners to develop the fund.

The fund will:

  • encourage innovative approaches and provide technical assistance to the Government of Iraq as it reconstructs areas affected by conflict, including the rebuilding of houses, schools, hospitals, factories and roads.
  • provide opportunities to utilise UK and international expertise to help the Government of Iraq to carry out vital reforms that will make the country more business friendly.
  • help unlock Iraq’s economic potential, generate jobs, boost potential for enhanced future trade with the UK and other international partners and lay the ground-work for long-term peace and stability following the conflict with Daesh.

In addition to tackling Iraq’s long-term recovery and reconstruction, Mr. Burt also announced further support to help meet the immediate humanitarian needs of the 1.8 million people still displaced from their homes within Iraq, and a boost for stabilisation efforts to ensure vital services such as healthcare and electricity are reinstated quickly in places such as Mosul.

During the visit in which Iraq and the UK agreed to a joint communique to further strengthen bilateral relations, Mr Burt held wide ranging discussions on UK-Iraqi cooperation, trade, development and regional security issues with the Iraqi President Barham Salih, the Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mehdi, Foreign Minister, Deputy Foreign Minister and the Trade and Planning ministers.

He also met Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechirvan Barzani, and the Prime-Minister designate, Masrour Barzani. Whilst in the Kurdistan Region, the minister also met Minister for the Interior, and for Peshmerga Affairs Karim Sinjari, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani.

In support of the Foreign Secretary’s commitment to tackle the persecution of Christians across the globe, the minister also engaged with the Archbishop of Erbil, Bashar Warda and grassroots faith organisations to gain their perspectives on freedom of religion and beliefs in the region.

Speaking from Baghdad the Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said:

The UK is a strong partner and friend of Iraq. We share a range of mutual and growing priorities which include security, development, foreign policy and trade.

“There is much to be celebrated about Iraq’s progress since the territorial defeat of Daesh in 2017. But there is more to be done to help Iraq develop the strong, stable future, decided on by all Iraqis, that its people deserve. The UK remains committed to supporting Iraq to develop along non-sectarian lines, and we are particularly concerned about the rights and freedoms afforded to Christians and other minority faith groups.

“I am proud that we will be the first donor to the Iraq Reform and Reconstruction Fund. UK aid will provide vital support to the people of Iraq as they rebuild their lives, their businesses and their economic independence.

UK aid announced today for the humanitarian response will support vulnerable people displaced by conflict, providing clean water, medicine and shelter. Since 2014, UK aid in Iraq has provided 4.1 million people with life-saving healthcare, 2 million people with safe water and sanitation, 836,500 people with shelter and more than 408,000 people with food.

£16 million will be allocated to the Iraq Reform and Reconstruction Fund (IRRF), run by the World Bank, from DFID’s budget. The IRRF will support Government of Iraq-led reconstruction efforts following the destruction caused by the conflict with Daesh, and support the implementation of longer term economic reform.

£6.9 million will be allocated to UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilisation (FFS) in Iraq from the UK Government’s Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF). It will directly support the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure in areas of Iraq liberated from Daesh. This will include hospitals, school, power plants and roads destroyed in the fighting.

£10 million will be allocated to UN OCHA’s Iraq Humanitarian Pooled Fund from DFID’s budget. It will support the ongoing humanitarian response, providing for the immediate needs of vulnerable people in Iraq displaced by conflict. It will help deliver clean water, medicine, shelter and a wide range of additional services to people living within temporary camps. Since 2014, UK aid in Iraq has provided 4.1 million people with life-saving healthcare, 2 million people with safe water and sanitation, 836,500 people with shelter and more than 408,000 people with food.

(Source: UK Govt)