UK Export Finance (UKEF) will support a €30.2 million contract for the refurbishment of Al Mussaib power station in southern Iraq, the UK government has announced.

The support will enable the rehabilitation of a 320 megawatt (MW) turbine, that will help improve the overall efficiency and output at the power station.

Al Mussaib power station, located close to Baghdad, is one of the main providers of electricity for the city. Increasing its output will help secure the supply of basic electricity to Baghdad residents.

Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, Baroness Fairhead (pictured) said:

I am delighted that UK Export Finance is supporting the first phase of the refurbishment, which will have such a significant impact on the supply and security of electricity in southern Iraq.

“The demand for UK expertise on complex projects like this highlights the UK’s leadership in this sector and I am delighted that UK Export Finance is supporting projects that will have such a direct impact on improving the country’s infrastructure and the lives of the Iraqi people.

“I encourage likeminded businesses to get in touch with UKEF to learn more about the kind of financial support we can provide.”

This announcement follows the agreement between the governments of the UK and Iraq signed in March 2017, which re-affirmed the UK’s commitment to Iraq’s continued economic development.

Darren Davidson, Managing Director – Power Generation Services, Power & Gas, Siemens UK said:

“The refurbishment of the Al Mussaib power plant will be hugely important both for the citizens of Baghdad and for our international business. UKEF’s support demonstrates the UK government’s commitment to improving Iraq’s infrastructure and the UK’s energy sector.”

(Source: UKEF)

By John Lee.

The Financial Times has reported that the recently-agreed electricity deals with Siemens and General Electric (GE) are not certain to be approved.

It quotes Minister for Electricity Luay Al-Khatteeb (pictured) as saying:

“I don’t have financial allocations or the processes available at hand, it doesn’t allow me to cherry-pick the right consultancies to deal with these multibillion-dollar deals. The bureaucracy that I inherited is . . . illogical. … certainly it’s going to be quite challenging to blindly accept such proposals.”

Al-Khatteeb took his post after the non-binding deals, or “principles of co-operation” were agreed with his predecessor, Qasim Al Fahdawi.

He said he that “volunteer experts” are helping “read in between the lines of these sophisticated legal contractual documents.

Last month, Lisa Davis, CEO of the Siemens Gas and Power Operating Company, and member of the corporation’s managing board, told The National last week that “discussions are ongoing.

More here.

(Source: Financial Times)

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: http://irak.ahk.de/en/about-us/

You can see the full list of IBBC partners here.

(Source: IBBC)

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)

By John Lee.

Talks are reported to be continuing between Germany’s Siemens and the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity regarding a major investment in the country’s electricity infrastructure.

Lisa Davis (pictured), CEO of the Siemens Gas and Power Operating Company, and member of the corporation’s managing board, told The National last week that “discussions are ongoing”, adding, “we’re working on their timeline and within their structure to getting there as effectively as they can to bringing the projects to reality as they need.

Following a hotly-contested competition last year, it was agreed that Siemens and GE would share the work to upgrade they system, with GE supplying 14 gigawatts (GW), and Siemens 11 GW.

(Source: The National)

MAN Energy Solutions has successfully commissioned six MAN 18V32/40 engines in a cement factory in Samawa, Iraq, and delivered five more engines of the same type to a freshwater-treatment plant in Basra.

“The country’s infrastructure has suffered greatly from armed conflict in the past and the re-electrification of Iraq is pivotal for further growth and new prosperity. We are very happy that our engines will bring such tangible, positive benefits to the Iraqi people,” said Waldemar Wiesner, Head of Region MEA (Middle-East Africa), Power Plant Sales, MAN Energy Solutions.

Defying the desert

The six engines in Samawa form the backbone of a power plant that will generate around 54 MW of electrical energy for a new cement plant owned by Iraqi producer, Kairat Al Abar Iraqi Co. (KAAI).

Samawa has a population of around 150,000 and is located on the River Euphrates, half way between Baghdad and the Persian Gulf. Conditions locally are testing with a rainfall of just 100 mm over the course of a year, while temperatures peak at over 40°C from June to September. “The heat and dry desert climate create demanding conditions for industrial processes,” said Wiesner. “However, our MAN 32/40 engines are particularly robust and well capale of delivering a reliable power supply under such extreme climatic conditions.”

Fresh water in Basra

Five MAN 18V32/40 engines with a total capacity of 45 MW will guarantee the energy supply of a freshwater-treatment plant in Basra, a city with 2.5 million people located on the Persian Gulf. Normally, the plant operates with electricity from the public grid. However, since Iraq’s energy supply still fluctuates strongly, the MAN engines will serve as an important backup to ensure the reliable operation of the plant.

“In Iraq, more than five million people have only limited access to drinking water or sanitary facilities. With this new freshwater plant, the quality of life for the people of Basra will increase significantly,” said Wiesner. “In the event of power failures, which unfortunately still occur frequently, our engines will ensure a stable energy supply so that Basra’s population has access to fresh water at all times.”

(Source: MAN Energy Solutions)

This week the German Federal Foreign Office bolstered IOM’s Community Policing (CP) programme in Iraq by providing an additional 1.7 million Euros, raising Germany’s total contributions to this important effort to 5.7 million Euros.

IOM’s CP programme aims to contribute to enhanced security and stability in Iraq, by facilitating dialogue between communities and law enforcement actors, through Community Policing Forums (CPF) in communities affected by conflict and displacement.

In the last three years 101 Community Policing Forums (CPFs) have been established across Iraq with the support of IOM. CPFs aim to resolve a variety of security concerns at the community level, including those related to housing, land and property (HLP) disputes, access to water and electricity, civil unrest, documentation for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees, child protection, human trafficking, sexual harassment and domestic violence.

The German Ambassador to Iraq, Dr. Cyrill Nunn, said:

“Community Policing is an important strategy to bring together socially fragmented communities in Iraq to peacefully resolve security related problems. Germany supports Community Policing to build and strengthen mutual trust between citizens and law enforcement agencies, contributing to safe and stable communities – the building blocks of a stable Iraq.”

CPFs are facilitated by a CP officer from the local police department and by elected community members. IOM guides CPFs in the development of community safety plans which identify the most critical security and safety issues that can be addressed and tackled by the community and the police.

Gerard Waite, IOM Chief of Mission in Iraq commented:

Issues are resolved mainly through identifying the correct entity to refer to, either law enforcement, public institutions, civil society organizations, or the community themselves.”

“The success of these forums can be seen through a variety of indicators, such as a decrease in crime, an increase in the level of cooperation from the community in solving security problems, and less use of force by police towards members of the community.

Brigadier Khalid Falah Kadhim, head of Iraq CP Directorate within the Government of Iraq’s Ministry of Interior, testifies to the positive impact the CP model has had on local police structures at the community level:

“The logistical and technical support provided by IOM to rebuild infrastructure and strengthen the capacity of community policing has played a fundamental role in peace building in communities, and we are thankful to the Government of Germany for providing this support.”

(Source: IOM)

The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs has contributed an additional EUR 22 million to the UNDP Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), which finances fast-track initiatives in areas of Iraq liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This brings the Ministry’s contribution to EUR 80.2 million and the total support from the Government of Germany to EUR 209.9 million.

Acting UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Mr. Gerardo Noto, said:

“Enormous progress continues to be made across the liberated areas of Iraq, with seventy percent of those who were displaced during the conflict now returned home. UNDP deeply appreciates the timely funding provided by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and while there remains a great deal of work to do, this generous contribution will help re-establish public services and rebuild social cohesion in the most vulnerable areas.”

The German Ambassador to Iraq, H.E. Dr. Cyrill Nunn, said:

“Germany continues to support Iraq’s stabilization efforts to shore up the progress made to date. As we look to the new Government to step forward to take increasing ownership of stabilisation and more long term development efforts, we will remain a committed partner for the people of Iraq and a strong supporter of the efforts of the United Nations.”

In addition to its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Germany also contributes to FFS through its Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development implemented by KfW, the German development bank.

At the request of the Government of Iraq, UNDP established the 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 and extremism.

The Facility has a portfolio of over 3,000 projects – half of which are already completed – in the provinces of Ninewah, Anbar, Salah Al-Din, Diyala and Kirkuk.

The FFS repairs essential public infrastructure such as electricity, water and sewage system grids. It rebuilds schools, health centres and homes, and provides people with short-term employment through public works schemes in areas directly impacted by ISIL.

This investment in critical services sets the stage for recovery and resilience work, as well as longer-term reconstruction and development activities. Over 95 percent of all stabilization projects are carried out by local private sector companies, providing a key source of employment for local people.

(Source: UN)

Cash-for-Work project in Halabja paves a safer and easier road to school for local children

42 host community members, IDPs and refugees employed to restore roads and walkways that will enable safe access to schools and markets for families in Halabja.

To neighbours in the communities of Azadi and Sirwan, in northern Iraq, paved roads mean much more than improved accessibility for cars. Once loose dust and rock, the road network connecting homes and markets posed a hazard for children during the regions season of heavy rainfall.

“They had to put those plastic bags and boots which was especially difficult for the kids to go to school,” described 15-year-old Shahad, an IDP from Baghdad.

“Especially in this area in winter we have a high rate of rainfall. And the land here was agricultural land before – so when it rains, it becomes mud, also posing health-hazards for pedestrians,” added Mr. Omed Noori Hama-Salih, Supervising Engineer, Municipality of Sirwan Subdistrict.

UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) recently supported a project that would enable the Governorate of Halabja to restore this essential basic service.

Following the launch in September, 42 individuals (host community members, internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees) received temporary employment opportunities to work on the project as engineers, labourers and administrative support.

This project is one of 28 that were made possible with generous funding from the Federal Government of Germany, supporting the construction and restoration of critical services such as sewerage, electricity, water and roads for some 680,000 people across the Sulaimaniyah & Halabja Governorates and Raparin & Garmiyan Administrations, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

In Azadi and Sirwan, IDPs, refugees and host community members are working together to improve the road and walkway networks for the benefit of all 1,500 community members. “In the past years, this was muddy and all children could not go to school easily and people could not go to do their services and visit market, but now when it will be paved of course it will ease our lives,” said Mr. Othman Aziz, a resident since 1978. “We consider that we will be having a new life because then our kids can go to school easily and our families will have an easy and nice access road to go and run their daily lives.”

Since 2014, Halabja Governorate has become host to more than 653 refugees and 7,177 IDPs, leaving their homes to find safety and security. Today, the pressure to ensure the provision of basic infrastructure and services is intensified by severe financial crisis, ultimately affecting the quality of life in the region for the host communities, as well as the IDPs and refugees they host.

In Azadi and Sirwan, IDPs, refugees and host community members are working together to improve the road and walkway networks for the benefit of all 1,500 community members. “In the past years, this was muddy and all children could not go to school easily and people could not go to do their services and visit market, but now when it will be paved of course it will ease our lives,” said Mr. Othman Aziz, a resident since 1978.

“We consider that we will be having a new life because then our kids can go to school easily and our families will have an easy and nice access road to go and run their daily lives.”

Since 2014, Halabja Governorate has become host to more than 653 refugees and 7,177 IDPs, leaving their homes to find safety and security. Today, the pressure to ensure the provision of basic infrastructure and services is intensified by severe financial crisis, ultimately affecting the quality of life in the region for the host communities, as well as the IDPs and refugees they host.

(Source: UNDP)

Ministry of Interior officially inaugurates the Local Police Service Road Map

On 12 November 2018 Lt. Gen. Moafaq Abdulhadi Tawfik, Deputy Minister for Police Affairs Agency officially inaugurated the Local Police Service Road Map of Iraq at the Ministry of Interior, in a ceremony held in the Agency headquarters in Baghdad.

The overall objectives of the Road Map are firstly to put in place transition security arrangements from Iraqi Security Forces to Local Police in post – ISIL Iraq and, to develop a framework with specific emphasis on maintaining trust between Iraqi Local Police Service and the public, as well as to foster collaborative partnerships between the police and other agencies of the Criminal Justice System.

The Local Police Service Road Map therefore, provides a strategy to transition the country from a military oriented focus on security to one of civil security authority in local security matters and, it prioritizes the following Police Core -Functions:

  1. Security and Protection Management
  2. Crime Management
  3. Traffic Enforcement Management
  4. Improving Effectiveness of Local Police Service (IELP), and
  5. Community Policing.

Furthermore, the Road Map also highlights six crosscutting supporting functions:

  1. Finance
  2. Human Resources (HR)
  3. Training
  4. Equipment
  5. Infrastructure, and
  6. Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Ministry of Interior appointed Committee of senior officials with strategic advice and assistance from UNDP Iraq developed the Road Map.

Lt. Gen. Moafaq Abdulhadi Tawfik, Deputy Minister for Police Affairs Agency said:

I extend my sincere gratitude and thanks to the Road Map Committee for their exceptional work in developing this important document that will guide the Local Police Service in Post- ISIL Iraq.

“The Road Map is timely and it complements directly to the New Government Programme’s vision to transition of internal security to Local Police. On behalf of the Police Affairs Agency and the Ministry of Interior I also extend my sincere thanks to UNDP for its advice and assistance in this important work.

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 supported by UNDP and International Partners.

“Therefore the successful implementation of the Local Police Service Road Map will be a critical milestone in restoring public security services, rule of law and sustainable peace in Iraq.  UNDP will continue to facilitate advice and assistance to the Police Affairs Agency and Ministry of Interior in this critical work in the coming months.

UNDP is grateful to Germany for its generous funding to carry out this important work in Iraq.

(Source: UNDP)