By John Lee.

Doctors Without Borders /Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has issued a report on its operations in Iraq.

It has been working in Iraq since 1991, with more than 1,500 staff providing free, quality healthcare for all people regardless of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

In Iraq, MSF offer services such as basic health care, treatment for chronic diseases, secondary healthcare including maternity with surgical capacity for caesarean sections, paediatric and emergency care, specialised services to treat severely injured patients with post-operative complications and mental health support to displaced people, returning population and communities most affected by violence in the governorates of Anbar, Baghdad, Diyala, Erbil, Ninewa, and Kirkuk.

Click here to download the full report.

(Source: MSF)

Toyota Iraq, UNDP and Oxfam support technical training for sustainable livelihoods Celebrating the graduation of 16 IDP’s in automotive mastery

Toyota Iraq, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Oxfam celebrated the graduation of 16 young trainees from the Toyota Technical Development Program Training. This group is the 5th batch of internal displaced people (IDPs) who have successfully completed Toyota certified training.

Through an on-going partnership, Toyota Iraq has contributed to the people and society of Iraq by successfully training 53 young men and women in automotive mastery, customer service and skills and spare parts. This training batch was the biggest in size, as well as in duration – with training commencing on 17th of February and concluding on 30th of May.

The extensive 3 months of continuous training delivered not only technical knowledge but also introduced the ‘Toyota Way’ and our corporate shared values, followed by inclusive technical training and an on-the-job experience for one month at Toyota Authorized Dealers in Erbil, Cihan Motors and SAS Automotive.

The successful collaboration of program partners – UNDP, OXFAM, the Government of Japan and Toyota Iraq, ensured that the latest training cohort were all able to complete training and receive recognition at Tuesday’s graduation ceremony.

Mr. Sardar Al.Bebany, president, Toyota Iraq, said:

“This program is one of the ways we provide support to local society. Through this program I have witnessed that when IDP’s are given equal opportunity for employment, they are empowered to change and improve their lives. We had total of 10 individual IDP’s now working with Toyota Iraq, as well as many others now working with other automobile companies”.

 Vakhtang Svanidze, Deputy Country Director, UNDP Iraq, also commented on the power of livelihood recovery for building resilient communities:

“Enhancing livelihoods and employment opportunities is one of the key elements for self-reliance and early recovery of conflict effected communities. UNDP is grateful for the support of Toyota and Oxfam to provide technical training for young men and women IDPs originating from areas across Iraq – including Mosul, Anbar and Salah al-Din, improving their employability and enabling them to access the job market with invaluable experience.   This project would not be possible to implement without generous financial support by government of Japan “

Reinforcing a commitment to provide on-going support for to the young men and women of Iraq, and to invest in the leaders of tomorrow, Toyota and UNDP renewed their partnership in early 2019, marking three years of collaboration in training and committing to a further two.

Toyota’s commitment is reflective of their core principles and dedication to support the local communities in which they work, “By respecting the culture and practices of each country and region and engaging in business activities with close community ties, we are working to create an enriching society while promoting measures that support labor and education”.

Likewise, the Government of Japan shares this interest to develop and build resilience in nations around the world, “We consider the Human Resource Development utmost priority allocating more than $ 350,000,000 to support in a variety of development programs around the world,” commented Japan Consul in Erbil, Mr. Moriyasu.

The conclusion of the graduation ceremony, was marked by Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Shinsuke Fujimoto, who expressed on behalf of all Toyota Iraq, a proudness for the great achievement of each graduate and and well wishes for their success in the next step of their career.

This programme was launched on the 25th of October 2016 as a flagship joint project between UNDP and Toyota Iraq to give internally displaced young people opportunities to enter the automotive industry, with the partnership renewal as of 28th of January,2019.

(Source: UNDP)

By John Lee.

Ride-hailing service Careem has reportedly started operations in Basra.

According to The National, the company, which currently operates in Baghdad and Najaf, also has a pilot project in Erbil.

Careem entered the Iraqi market in January 2018, and was bought by Uber for $3.1 billion in March 2019.

(Source: The National)

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

ExxonMobil evacuated dozens of its non-Iraqi employees from Iraq on May 18. The evacuation follows a US State Department decision to withdraw its non-essential staff from the US Embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The US oil company relocated its employees to Dubai, where they will continue their work related to the West Qurna-1 oil field in Basra. The company announced May 31 that it will begin returning its employees from June 2 after the Iraqi government promised to increase the security measures in the site.

Click here to read the full story.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted a workshop in Erbil, in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, on May 14, 2019, to discuss USAID’s New Partnership Initiative (NPI) with 30 local and faith-based Iraqi organizations.

USAID will co-create with successful applicants to award $3 million dollars by the end of this U.S. Government’s Fiscal Year to local and faith-based organizations.

The Iraq NPI Addendum will allow USAID to work directly with a more diverse range of partners in its continuing efforts to help religious and ethnic minority communities in Northern Iraq recover from the genocide perpetrated by the so-call Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The principles behind NPI appear in the Agency’s first-ever Acquisition and Assistance (A&A) Strategy.

The overall Agency NPI seeks to support governments, civil society, and the private sector in our partner countries’ as they make progress on the Journey to Self-Reliance, achieve sustainable and resilient results, and generate measurable impact.

(Source: USAID)

By Kamal Chomani for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi is under great pressure from his government to force the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to deliver the allotted 250,000 barrels of oil per day to the State Organization for Marketing of Oil, as per the 2019 federal budget law.

Pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on May 22 that Abdul Mahdi has threatened to slash the KRG budget if the oil is not delivered. Ayad Allawi, the head of al-Watania alliance announced on May 28, that Abdul Mahdi asked him to go to Erbil and discuss the oil dispute with Barzani.

Allawi met with Barzani and received assurance from him to cooperate with Baghdad. Yet the dispute has not been solved.

Click here to read the full story.

By John Lee.

The Netherlands has resumed its training mission in Iraq, following a brief suspension due to security concerns resulting from US-Iranian tensions in the region.

The Dutch Ministry of Defence announced that, after a re-assessment of the situation, its courses can be re-started.

A number of Dutch people are training Iraqi commandos in Baghdad. Peshmerga’s are trained at the northern Erbil. The Kurdish fighters are taught, among other things, marksmanship, leadership and the protection of large areas.

Since 2015, the Netherlands has been participating in the international coalition that is fighting against terrorist organization ISIS in Iraq.

(Source: Dutch Ministry of Defence)

From the U.S. Embassy in Iraq:

The U.S. State Department has ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. Government employees from Iraq, both at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Consulate in Erbil.

Normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad hasd advised all U.S. citizens of heightened tensions in Iraq and the requirement to remain vigilant.

Actions to Take:

  • Do not travel to Iraq
  • Avoid places known as U.S. citizen gathering points.
  • Keep a low profile
  • Be aware of your surroundings


U.S. Embassy Baghdad
Al-Kindi Street, International Zone, Baghdad
Telephone (during business hours)

From Iraq:  0760-030-3000;

From the United States:  301-985-8841
U.S. Citizen Emergency After-Hours Telephone (ask for the duty officer)

From Iraq:  0760-030-3000;

From the United States:  301-985-8841


U.S. Consulate General Erbil
413 Ishtar, Ankawa Erbil, Iraq
Telephone (during business hours)

From Iraq:  0760-030-3227;

From the United States:  240-264-3467 extension 4554
U.S. Citizen Emergency After-Hours Telephone (ask for the duty officer)

From Iraq:  066-211-4554;

From the United States:  240-264-3467


State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

(Source: US Embassy)

EU-funded programme Supporting Recovery and Stability in Iraq through Local Development – Launch of the Yarmouk Park Rehabilitation Project in Mosul

Mosul local authorities and citizens gathered in Al Yarmouk Park in West Mosul on 2 May 2019 to launch the rehabilitation works that will be conducted under the programme Supporting Recovery and Stability in Iraq through Local Development.

The programme, which will target nine governorates, is funded by the European Union (EU) with €47.5 million over 4 years, and implemented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

Along with the rehabilitation of damaged housing, public facilities and secondary infrastructure in conflict-affected areas, the recovery of open spaces and public amenities for citizens emerged as one of the key priorities listed in the Provincial Recovery Plans developed by the governorates of Nineveh, Salah al Din and Anbar, under the flagship Local Area Development Programme (LADP II) that was also funded by the EU and concluded in mid-2018. In the city of Mosul, the programme will be investing USD 2 million in Al Yarmouk Park and adjacent residential area.

Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Iraq, Mr. Tomas Reyes Ortega, stated:

“The rehabilitation of Al Yarmouk Park is a great example on how we can contribute to the quality of life in cities in inclusive and participative ways. I look forward to coming back in a couple of years and seeing this project become a reality as part of the reconstruction of Mosul to which the EU is firmly committed.”

Speaking on behalf of the Nineveh Crisis Cell, Dr. Qussay Al-Assaf, Advisor to Governor, stated:

“We support all the activities and projects carried out by the organizations within the governorate, including UN-Habitat. The agreement to launch the programme was recently signed in Erbil in the presence of 9 Iraqi governorates. In Nineveh, the EU-funded programme will be implemented in two phases: first in Mosul District and then in Tal Afar District.”

Qa’im Maqam of Mosul, Mr. Zuheer Al-Araji, said:

“We are pleased to be here today in such a place in the center of the city of Mosul that is truly in need of attention and care. I thank and appreciate the efforts and great cooperation between the service departments of Mosul Municipality and the departments of Sewerage and Water, besides the high-level of coordination with UN agencies. My thanks and appreciation to UN-Habitat for their presence in areas that really need housing rehabilitation assistance and today is for the parks rehabilitation.”

Head of Mosul Municipality, Mr Radhwan Ahmed Suliman, acknowledged the generous support of the European Union and spoke about the on-going one-day cleaning campaign that engaged more than 100 daily workers and 60 volunteers from Su’ad Mosuliya in a joint effort to remove garbage from the park and adjacent residential area:

“We are very pleased that UN-Habitat has chosen this area within low-income overcrowded areas that have not been visited by many This project is funded by the European Union organizations and thus not receiving much upgrading assistance. We strongly support this effort and these projects and, God willing, will be working alongside UN-Habitat in all future projects.”

Head of UN-Habitat Iraq Programme, a.i., Ms. Yuko Otsuki, said:

“The rehabilitation of Al Yarmouk Park will be the core of a wide range of public initiatives, environmental actions, cultural events, recreation and sport activities that will benefit Mosul citizens of all ages. In UN-Habitat, we believe that public space plays a crucial role in the creation of socio-economic value, improved health and quality of life in urban areas, as well as a unique opportunity to enhance social inclusion, cohesion and peace-building in cities affected by a recent conflict.”

The manager of the programme, Ms. Anna Soave stated that:

“Al Yarmouk Park has immediately drawn our attention because of its unique size and very dilapidated conditions, in a city where public green space per capita is notoriously well-below average and recommended standards. Public space is a vital component of a prosperous city because of its positive impact on its economy, environment, safety, health, and strong contribution to community cohesion. By involving youth in its redesign as a multi-functional space, Al Yarmouk Park has a strong potential to enhance civic identity, social interaction and cultural expression.”

A Yarmouk Cleaning Day was launched in the early morning, as a joint initiative of Mosul Municipality, UN-Habitat and Su’ad Mosuliya. Prior to embarking in the cleaning of the park and adjacent streets, municipal workers and volunteers attended risk education sessions delivered by UNMAS and IHSCO.

After the launching speeches, local officials and Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Iraq, Mr. Tomas Reyes Ortega took part to the ceremonial planting of two large palms, making the commencement of the works in the park, and were then invited to cheer schoolchildren from nearby schools engaged in a set of running competitions.

(Source: ReliefWeb)