The number of cases of COVID-19-infected persons is also rapidly increasing in Iraq. The peak of the disease is expected in autumn. At least four new hospitals are to be built in the country’s largest cities by then.

KfW is financing the construction on behalf of the German government with an initial amount of EUR 15 million. The contract was signed 23 July 2020.

At the end of April lockdown and corona restrictions were lifted in Iraq. Since then the number of cases has risen sharply. A peak in infections is expected in autumn, which will overburden the infrastructure of the health care facilities.

By then, almost 50,000 beds in hospitals, including 12,000 intensive care beds, will be needed for the treatment of COVID-19 patients alone. In Iraq, however, there are only just under 50,000 hospital beds at all, including about 700 intensive care beds.

To support the Iraqi health system KfW is financing the construction of at least four hospitals on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with an initial EUR 15 million. It is being examined whether further hospitals can be financed in a further phase.

A simulation of the course of infection according to a WHO model showed that the conurbations will suffer the highest case numbers. Therefore, four hospitals are planned in the major cities of Baghdad, Basra, Niniveh and Süleymaniye.

They will initially be built as temporary hospitals in modular prefabricated construction, but in the long term they can serve as regular hospitals. Each hospital will have 100 beds, including 40 intensive care beds. In the short term, more than 7,000 patients will benefit directly. But the separate treatment of COVID-19 patients in separate facilities is beneficial for all patients in the country, because otherwise isolation could not be guaranteed.

“This is a quick and lean response to the pandemic in Iraq, but we have to win the race against time and build the hospitals before case numbers continue to escalate,” stresses KfW portfolio manager Moritz Remé. After many years of armed conflict the need for reconstruction in Iraq is particularly high. Income from the oil business has fallen due to the sharp drop in prices in recent months. Help from Germany is therefore urgently needed in Iraq.

(Source: KfW)

The Cabinet held its regular meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

At the start of the meeting, the Prime Minister thanked health teams for their sacrifices on the front line during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Cabinet received a briefing from the Minister of Health on the latest developments and the ongoing national effort to combat the pandemic.

Following discussions, the Cabinet decided to:

  • Implement a previous decision by the government to award, free of charge, plots of land for health staff who have direct contact with Covid-19 patients
  • Direct the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to allocate additional places on postgraduate courses, outside its current plan for the 2020-2021 academic year, for health staff wishing to pursue further studies

The Cabinet discussed other items on its agenda, and decided to authorise the Minister of Finance to negotiate and sign loan agreements to ensure funding for several investment projects in the electricity and health sectors, as follows:

  • A loan to complete a project for the Ministry of Electricity to install (8) turbine refrigeration units and (32) other refrigeration units at a cost of 70,800,000 euros from Siemens
  • A loan for the installation and operation of (9) gas turbines for the Wasit power station for the amount of 36,000,000 euros  from Siemens for the Ministry of Electricity, funded by Standard Chartered Bank and with a guarantee from the Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN)
  • A loan for the rehabilitation of health services infrastructure in the amount of 185,000,000 euros for the Ministry of Health funded by the German Development Bank (KFW)
  • A loan for the rehabilitation of electricity infrastructure in the amount of 400,000,000 euros, for the Ministry of Electricity, funded by the German Development Bank, KFW
  • A loan for the multi-annual maintenance project – the fourth stage in the amount of US$120,000,000 implemented by GE with funding from an international bank and  guaranteed by UK Export Finance (UKEF)
  • A loan for Babylon’s 400 KV Power Plant Rehabilitation Project, in the amount of 38,000,000 euros, implemented by Sweden’s ABB company, funded by JPMorgan Bank and guaranteed by the Swedish Export Credit Agency,  EKN

The Cabinet also approved a draft law to ratify the agreement on air transport services between the Republic of Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, and to submit it to the Council of Representatives.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

Hospitals and bridges: Major sites re-open in Ramadi highlighting city’s recovery

The Government of Iraq has re-opened two major infrastructure projects in Ramadi following their rehabilitation by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The re-opening of Ramadi Maternity Hospital and the Palestine Bridge marks a significant moment for the recovery of the city after years of ISIL occupation.

Ramadi Maternity Hospital is a large, 260 bed, modern medical facility – one that will provide over 400,000 women in Anbar with specialized maternity services. As the only such facility in Anbar, the hospital will serve women from areas as far away as Heet, Haditha, Anah, Rawa and Al Qaim.

UNDP carried out major work at the hospital, including the rehabilitation of operating theatres, labour wards, water and electrical systems and doctor’s accommodation.

UNDP’s Resident Representative in Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad, said:

“Today marks an important day for Ramadi. After many difficult years, this great city is back on its feet. Access to healthcare is one of the foundations of strong societies, and UNDP is proud to be working to improve health services across the areas that suffered under ISIL with the support of our generous donors.”

The rehabilitation of the hospital was funded through a significant contribution by the Federal Republic of Germany, through KfW Development Bank.

KfW Country Director, Dr. Anna-Christine Janke, said:

“On behalf of the German Government KfW Development Bank is proud to finance a host of projects in Iraq. Projects range from the rehabilitation of basic and critical infrastructure including hospitals, electricity, roads and bridges, to support for small and medium enterprises and assistance to livelihoods.”

The nearby Palestine Bridge also suffered extensive damage during the battle to dislodge ISIL, and several of its parts were either partially damaged or completely destroyed. As the largest bridge in Anbar, it spans over 500m and measures three lanes wide on each side. The complex rehabilitation of the bridge was undertaken by UNDP, beginning in 2018.

Adds Ms. Ali Ahmad:

“Bridges don’t just connect roads; they connect people and communities. This bridge serves as critical passageway for residents of Ramadi and an integral gateway to Greater Anbar. UNDP’s commitment to restoring these vital pieces of infrastructure is clear, with 11 bridges across Anbar now completed.”

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

Based on priorities identified by the Government of Iraq, FFS helps quickly repair essential public infrastructure, boosts the capacity of local government, provides short-term employment opportunities and helps to build cohesive communities.

To date, UNDP’s Funding Facility has completed more than 2,300 projects in key critical areas of Anbar, Salah al-Din, Diyala, Kirkuk and Ninewa.

(Source: UNDP)

UNDP helps to ensure access to safe water and reliable electricity for over 100,000 people in the Governorate of Erbil

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Governorate of Erbil have signed two agreements to rehabilitate key infrastructure in areas hosting thousands of displaced people, including large numbers who have fled from Mosul.

With generous funding from the German Development Bank (KfW), UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) and the Governorate of Erbil will rehabilitate and upgrade the main water treatment plant in Rawanduz, where the local population has more than doubled in size with an influx of displaced people, in order to alleviate chronic water shortages and improve health conditions for the local population.

In Debaga sub-district, UNDP and local authorities will rehabilitate the electrical network, improving the supply of electricity to the local population and thousands of displaced people, many of whom are from Mosul. In total, more than 100,000 people will benefit from these two projects.

Governor of Erbil, H.E. Mr. Nawzad Hadi, said:

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with UNDP to strengthen basic service delivery in the Erbil Governorate and address the increasing needs of residents and displaced people, including hundreds of people who fled from Mosul.”

UNDP’s Head of Stabilization and Resilience, Mr. Joe Feeney, said:

“UNDP is pleased to support the Governorate of Erbil as it continues to provide basic services to its community and an ever-growing population of displaced people. At a time when so many families are in acute need and local governments continue to strain already over-burdened resources, we are confident that these projects will help to alleviate some of this demand.”

Consul for Political and Humanitarian Affairs at the German Consulate in Erbil, Dr. Lars-Uwe Kettner, said:

“This integrated approach is a big step forward in order to improve the lives of displaced people and host communities. Water is the basis of our existence and of foremost importance. Without electricity we cannot imagine our lives any more. We are happy to work with such committed and very strong partners who make sure that the support reaches the people in need.”

UNDP’s ICRRP provides fast-track support to vulnerable families in newly liberated cities and villages where social tensions threaten community cohesion. ICRRP is currently active in eleven newly liberated communities in Diyala, Salah al Din and Ninewah Governorates and is expected to expand to nearly 30 locations in the months ahead.

ICRRP is designed as a resilience and recovery programme to help families withstand the multi-dimensional shocks associated with post-liberation and large-scale returns.

(Source: ReliefWeb)

UNDP helps to ensure access to safe water and reliable electricity for over 100,000 people in the Governorate of Erbil

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Governorate of Erbil have signed two agreements to rehabilitate key infrastructure in areas hosting thousands of displaced people, including large numbers who have fled from Mosul.

With generous funding from the German Development Bank (KfW), UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) and the Governorate of Erbil will rehabilitate and upgrade the main water treatment plant in Rawanduz, where the local population has more than doubled in size with an influx of displaced people, in order to alleviate chronic water shortages and improve health conditions for the local population.

In Debaga sub-district, UNDP and local authorities will rehabilitate the electrical network, improving the supply of electricity to the local population and thousands of displaced people, many of whom are from Mosul. In total, more than 100,000 people will benefit from these two projects.

Governor of Erbil, H.E. Mr. Nawzad Hadi, said:

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with UNDP to strengthen basic service delivery in the Erbil Governorate and address the increasing needs of residents and displaced people, including hundreds of people who fled from Mosul.”

UNDP’s Head of Stabilization and Resilience, Mr. Joe Feeney, said:

“UNDP is pleased to support the Governorate of Erbil as it continues to provide basic services to its community and an ever-growing population of displaced people. At a time when so many families are in acute need and local governments continue to strain already over-burdened resources, we are confident that these projects will help to alleviate some of this demand.”

Consul for Political and Humanitarian Affairs at the German Consulate in Erbil, Dr. Lars-Uwe Kettner, said:

“This integrated approach is a big step forward in order to improve the lives of displaced people and host communities. Water is the basis of our existence and of foremost importance. Without electricity we cannot imagine our lives any more. We are happy to work with such committed and very strong partners who make sure that the support reaches the people in need.”

UNDP’s ICRRP provides fast-track support to vulnerable families in newly liberated cities and villages where social tensions threaten community cohesion. ICRRP is currently active in eleven newly liberated communities in Diyala, Salah al Din and Ninewah Governorates and is expected to expand to nearly 30 locations in the months ahead.

ICRRP is designed as a resilience and recovery programme to help families withstand the multi-dimensional shocks associated with post-liberation and large-scale returns.

(Source: ReliefWeb)