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)

This article has been originally published in the GIZ magazine ‘akzente’ at https://akzente.giz.de/en/artikel/iraqs-digital-innovators. It is reprinted here by kind permission of GIZ.

A new generation of young Iraqi entrepreneurs are confronting the country’s challenges, even during the coronavirus pandemic.

Text und Fotos: Olivia Cuthbert

The streets are eerily silent in Mosul’s old city. A fierce nine-month battle against Isis in 2017 left this once-bustling quarter in ruins and reduced its historic buildings to rubble. Even now, Iraq’s second-largest city is still reeling from Isis occupation, but there are visible pockets of progress.

Climbing the stairs to the Mosul Space innovation hub, the atmosphere lifts. The door opens onto a modern, open-plan room where young Maslawis, as the city’s residents are known, work to develop ideas that look ahead to the future.

Salih Mahmod

One of them is 23-year-old electronic engineering graduate Salih Mahmod, who devised the concept for the innovation hub back in 2014. He was in the first year of his engineering degree and frustrated with learning solely from books rather than also developing practical skills. Reading about makerspaces, that is, high-tech workshops offering digital training and opportunities to engage in dialogue and implement ideas, in Germany and elsewhere, he was inspired.

‘I thought, why not in our city.’ So he ordered computers and printers, but 20 days after taking delivery of the first computers, Isis descended on the city and he had to put his dream on the backburner for the time being.

Mahmod’s family fled the terror group, finding refuge in the northern Iraqi countryside. Determined to continue, he and his friends offered improvised computer and programming workshops for people from the region. When Mosul was liberated in summer 2017, he returned and hosted an engineering festival that drew more than 500 participants. The tremendous response spurred Salih Mahmod on to set about realising his original dream once again.

He decided to work with like-minded individuals to create a meeting space where young technology enthusiasts would be taught the skills they need, such as programming, the use of new robotics technology and business aptitude. The space would offer them inspiration and an environment in which to develop their innovative ideas, paving the way for the establishment of Iraqi start-ups. Mahmod found a small room and began by launching a project to produce parts for broken hospital machines.

Using a 3D printer, a group of young people created plastic screws and wheels that couldn’t be sourced locally, fixing incubators and other devices that had fallen into disrepair during the Isis occupation. ‘It was a clear example of how an innovative idea can be implemented in the field,’ said Mahmod.

Rapid response to the coronavirus pandemic

The young creatives were able to build on this experience when looking for ways to support the country’s medical professionals in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The makerspace in Mosul quickly switched to developing face shields and is now working with Iraq’s four other innovation centres. Over 10,000 of these shields have already been manufactured and delivered to hospitals throughout the country in recent weeks.

This was all achieved by the Mosul Space, as the innovation centre in the old city is now known, having grown from small beginnings. Salih Mahmod had already made contact with GIZ several years ago. The federal enterprise is working throughout Iraq on behalf of the German Development Ministry to promote the establishment of an ecosystem for tech start-ups and young computer enthusiasts.

There are now five innovation centres in the country where Iraqis can be trained to meet new requirements on the labour market or prepare for self-employment. Over 5,500 people have now completed courses or attended events at these centres. Offerings include workshops and mentoring programmes for aspiring start-up entrepreneurs looking to find solutions to the challenges facing the country.

Talent platform in Erbil

It’s not just in Mosul either. An hour down the road in the autonomous Kurdistan region, another hive of entrepreneurship buzzes with creative energy. Re:Coded House is pioneering the co-working concept in the city of Erbil. Prior to the coronavirus lockdown, a growing community of young people used the space to develop projects. ‘People tend to come here with ideas and we support them to make them a reality,’ said Wafa Al-Attas, Iraq Innovation Advisor at non-governmental organisation Field Ready.

Wafa Al-Attas

She runs the makerspace in Re:Coded House and manages the fund for Mosul Space. Al-Attas explains that the concept is quickly catching on in Erbil, fuelling a fledgling creative ecosystem that, five years ago, didn’t seem possible. But strict regulations, cumbersome bureaucracy and limited infrastructure have dampened creative ambitions. Nonetheless, she says things have started to get off the ground. With GIZ’s support, Re:Coded House, which opened in April 2019, has become a platform for talented youth who want to bring their ideas to life.

Refugee refines handbag design

Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the space was busiest in the evening, when students came after university classes to work on their projects. Book shelves and indoor plants add a cosy touch. Re:Coded House is normally also a social hub. ‘I don’t have many friends here in Erbil, but in the makerspace it feels like a family,’ said 26-year-old Sliman Khazal, who fled Syria before the war.

Sliman Khazal

He dreams of one day launching his edgy, geometric handbag designs onto the market. ‘Everyone in here is supporting me to work harder and dream bigger.’

Online courses during the lockdown

Mallak Al-Rifaie

Re:Coded House, Mosul Space and the other Iraqi innovation centres are focusing during the pandemic on online courses and video presentations on subjects such as ‘software products for the post-Covid 19 period’. 24-year-old computer expert Mallak Al-Rifaie has been working on these kinds of ideas for some time. As the only female on her university degree course, she initially met with a lot of opposition. ‘At first, all the boys told me that I didn’t have a right to be there.’

But classmates quickly changed their minds when she gained top grades for her project which saw her develop a digital system to allow individuals with limited mobility to stay at home and receive rapid assistance in an emergency. Al-Rifaie also specifically promotes training for children. One of her teams of school pupils even won a national robotics competition last year. ‘I taught them university-level coding and they grasped it incredibly quickly. This generation is really smart,’ she says. And she doesn’t appear to be worried about the future.

Contact: Inga Niere, inga.niere@giz.de

The research in Iraq was conducted prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The young people used digital media to update the editorial team on their initiatives during the lockdown.

This article has been originally published in the GIZ magazine ‘akzente’ at https://akzente.giz.de/en/artikel/iraqs-digital-innovators. It is reprinted here by kind permission of GIZ.

A new generation of young Iraqi entrepreneurs are confronting the country’s challenges, even during the coronavirus pandemic.

Text und Fotos: Olivia Cuthbert

The streets are eerily silent in Mosul’s old city. A fierce nine-month battle against Isis in 2017 left this once-bustling quarter in ruins and reduced its historic buildings to rubble. Even now, Iraq’s second-largest city is still reeling from Isis occupation, but there are visible pockets of progress.

Climbing the stairs to the Mosul Space innovation hub, the atmosphere lifts. The door opens onto a modern, open-plan room where young Maslawis, as the city’s residents are known, work to develop ideas that look ahead to the future.

Salih Mahmod

One of them is 23-year-old electronic engineering graduate Salih Mahmod, who devised the concept for the innovation hub back in 2014. He was in the first year of his engineering degree and frustrated with learning solely from books rather than also developing practical skills. Reading about makerspaces, that is, high-tech workshops offering digital training and opportunities to engage in dialogue and implement ideas, in Germany and elsewhere, he was inspired.

‘I thought, why not in our city.’ So he ordered computers and printers, but 20 days after taking delivery of the first computers, Isis descended on the city and he had to put his dream on the backburner for the time being.

Mahmod’s family fled the terror group, finding refuge in the northern Iraqi countryside. Determined to continue, he and his friends offered improvised computer and programming workshops for people from the region. When Mosul was liberated in summer 2017, he returned and hosted an engineering festival that drew more than 500 participants. The tremendous response spurred Salih Mahmod on to set about realising his original dream once again.

He decided to work with like-minded individuals to create a meeting space where young technology enthusiasts would be taught the skills they need, such as programming, the use of new robotics technology and business aptitude. The space would offer them inspiration and an environment in which to develop their innovative ideas, paving the way for the establishment of Iraqi start-ups. Mahmod found a small room and began by launching a project to produce parts for broken hospital machines.

Using a 3D printer, a group of young people created plastic screws and wheels that couldn’t be sourced locally, fixing incubators and other devices that had fallen into disrepair during the Isis occupation. ‘It was a clear example of how an innovative idea can be implemented in the field,’ said Mahmod.

Rapid response to the coronavirus pandemic

The young creatives were able to build on this experience when looking for ways to support the country’s medical professionals in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The makerspace in Mosul quickly switched to developing face shields and is now working with Iraq’s four other innovation centres. Over 10,000 of these shields have already been manufactured and delivered to hospitals throughout the country in recent weeks.

This was all achieved by the Mosul Space, as the innovation centre in the old city is now known, having grown from small beginnings. Salih Mahmod had already made contact with GIZ several years ago. The federal enterprise is working throughout Iraq on behalf of the German Development Ministry to promote the establishment of an ecosystem for tech start-ups and young computer enthusiasts.

There are now five innovation centres in the country where Iraqis can be trained to meet new requirements on the labour market or prepare for self-employment. Over 5,500 people have now completed courses or attended events at these centres. Offerings include workshops and mentoring programmes for aspiring start-up entrepreneurs looking to find solutions to the challenges facing the country.

Talent platform in Erbil

It’s not just in Mosul either. An hour down the road in the autonomous Kurdistan region, another hive of entrepreneurship buzzes with creative energy. Re:Coded House is pioneering the co-working concept in the city of Erbil. Prior to the coronavirus lockdown, a growing community of young people used the space to develop projects. ‘People tend to come here with ideas and we support them to make them a reality,’ said Wafa Al-Attas, Iraq Innovation Advisor at non-governmental organisation Field Ready.

Wafa Al-Attas

She runs the makerspace in Re:Coded House and manages the fund for Mosul Space. Al-Attas explains that the concept is quickly catching on in Erbil, fuelling a fledgling creative ecosystem that, five years ago, didn’t seem possible. But strict regulations, cumbersome bureaucracy and limited infrastructure have dampened creative ambitions. Nonetheless, she says things have started to get off the ground. With GIZ’s support, Re:Coded House, which opened in April 2019, has become a platform for talented youth who want to bring their ideas to life.

Refugee refines handbag design

Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the space was busiest in the evening, when students came after university classes to work on their projects. Book shelves and indoor plants add a cosy touch. Re:Coded House is normally also a social hub. ‘I don’t have many friends here in Erbil, but in the makerspace it feels like a family,’ said 26-year-old Sliman Khazal, who fled Syria before the war.

Sliman Khazal

He dreams of one day launching his edgy, geometric handbag designs onto the market. ‘Everyone in here is supporting me to work harder and dream bigger.’

Online courses during the lockdown

Mallak Al-Rifaie

Re:Coded House, Mosul Space and the other Iraqi innovation centres are focusing during the pandemic on online courses and video presentations on subjects such as ‘software products for the post-Covid 19 period’. 24-year-old computer expert Mallak Al-Rifaie has been working on these kinds of ideas for some time. As the only female on her university degree course, she initially met with a lot of opposition. ‘At first, all the boys told me that I didn’t have a right to be there.’

But classmates quickly changed their minds when she gained top grades for her project which saw her develop a digital system to allow individuals with limited mobility to stay at home and receive rapid assistance in an emergency. Al-Rifaie also specifically promotes training for children. One of her teams of school pupils even won a national robotics competition last year. ‘I taught them university-level coding and they grasped it incredibly quickly. This generation is really smart,’ she says. And she doesn’t appear to be worried about the future.

Contact: Inga Niere, inga.niere@giz.de

The research in Iraq was conducted prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The young people used digital media to update the editorial team on their initiatives during the lockdown.

Foreign Minister Calls on his German Counterpart to Support the Removal of Iraq from List of High-risk Countries in Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mr. Fuad Hussein received a phone call from German Foreign Minister Mr. Heiko Maas. The two Ministers discussed bilateral relations between the two countries, and the prospects for promoting them to meet the aspirations of the two friendly peoples.

Minister Fuad Hussein affirmed his keenness to enhance ways of bilateral cooperation with Berlin in various fields.

Minister Fuad Hussein congratulated his German counterpart on his assumption of the presidency of the European Union, expressing his aspiration for the relations between Iraq and Europe to witness a development that contributes to achieving the aspirations of the two sides, and called for Mr. Heiko Maas to intensify his efforts to remove Iraq from the list of high-risk countries in money laundering and terrorist financing.

The German Foreign Minister affirmed that he would chair the ministerial meeting of the EU next week, and he would use his efforts to address this issue upon the request of Iraq.

The two sides discussed the economic file and activating the mechanisms of bilateral cooperation in a way that benefits Iraq and Germany.

The Minister affirmed that the doors of the Iraqi market are open to German companies for its long history of working in Iraq and the Ministry will work as far as it is concerned to communicate with the concerned authorities and ministries to address the difficulties that face Siemens.

The German Foreign Minister revealed the strong desire of German companies to work in Iraq.

The regional and international issues and their repercussions on Iraq had a share in the discussions between the two ministers. Minister Fuad Hussein called on Germany to use its political and economic influence with regional countries to prevent interference in Iraq’s internal affairs, pointing out that Iraq’s new foreign policy depends on the equation of finding balanced relations with all neighboring countries based on the principle of good neighborliness, achieving common interests, solving problems by peaceful means, and distancing Iraq and its people from international and regional tensions.

On his part, Mr. Maas considered that Iraq’s policy in establishing its relationship represents the right path for relations with regional countries, noting that Germany will work hard to protect Iraqi sovereignty, confirming Germany’s continued support to Iraq in various fields.

Thr two Ministers also touched on the Syrian situation, and Minister Fuad Hussein affirmed that the complex security and political situation and fighting in Syria are negatively affecting the Iraqi security situation.

Mr. Heiko Maas confirmed that his government is a member of the Global coalition in the fight against Da’esh and is ready to continue to support in this field, explaining that Da’esh is a threat to all.

(Source: Iraqi Foreign Ministry)

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has held a meeting with the Ministers of Electricity and Oil to discuss electricity supply in Iraq, and directed that all electricity projects, especially those agreed with Siemens, be implemented without delay.

He added that Iraq has spent billions of dollars on the electricity sector in recent years, but because of corruption, waste and mismanagement, it failed to build a modern power grid that meets the needs of its citizens.

the PM said he is determined to address the problems in the electricity sector, implement plans for its development, and tackle corruption in all its forms in this critical sector.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

Criminal justice services in Iraq strengthened thanks to new contribution from Germany

The Government of Germany has committed USD 1.13 million to support the Government of Iraq strengthen its criminal investigations and crime scene management under a new project in partnership with UNDP Iraq.

Strengthening Criminal Investigations and Crime Scene Management Capacities in Iraq aims to increase the reliability and effectiveness of criminal investigations, ensuring they are well integrated and proactively conducted by local police. It will also improve the performance of cinvestigators, making their role in criminal investigations more accountable.

Activities under this project include comprehensive training sessions for investigating officers from local police stations, relevant directorates, and investigating judges.

Resident Representative of UNDP Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad, said:

This generous contribution will support Iraqi stakeholders to advance ongoing efforts to improve local safety and security through better crime management and local policing.

“Public safety and security lie at the heart of Iraq’s transition to long-term stability, recovery and development, so we are extremely grateful to the Government of Germany for its continued support.

German Ambassador, Dr. Ole Diehl (pictured) stressed that:

“This contribution from Germany will assist in advancing capacities of police forces and judicial authorities in Iraq and thereby create conditions to restore public safety and security for all Iraqis as well as enhance longer-term stability.”

Major General Talib Khalil Rahi, Forensics Director of the Ministry of Interior, stated:

“The focus on improving local police and criminal justice services is essential to transit from a state engaged in protracted conflict to a post-war era of stability and recovery.”

The new contribution aligns with identified priorities within the Government of Iraq’s Security Sector Reform aimed at improving criminal justice and local policing.

The project will be implemented by the UNDP Security Sector Reform and Rule of Law Programme which has been instrumental in supporting the Government of Iraq’s Security Sector Reform Programme, in partnerships with the Office of the National Security Advisor, Ministry of Interior and the Police Affairs Agency, Local Police, Higher Judicial Council, Ministry of Justice and Iraqi civil society organisations and other international donors.

(Source: UNDP)

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano of Germany as his new Deputy Special Representative for Iraq, in the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and Resident Coordinator. Ms. Vojáčková-Sollorano will also serve as Humanitarian Coordinator.

Ms. Vojáčková-Sollorano succeeds Marta Ruedas of Spain, who retired from the United Nations in May. The Secretary-General is grateful for Ms. Ruedas’ long and dedicated service to the Organization.

Ms. Vojáčková-Sollorano brings to this position more than three decades of global expertise in migration and refugee issues, coordinating United Nations development and humanitarian responses, including as United Nations Resident Coordinator in Turkey (2016-2019) and Serbia (2013-2016). Since August 2019, Ms. Vojáčková-Sollorano has served as United Nations Regional Director a.i. of the Development Coordination Office for Europe and Central Asia in Istanbul.

From 2010-2013, Ms. Vojáčková-Sollorano was the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Director for Migration Management in Geneva, and served as IOM Deputy Chief of Staff in 2009. Prior to that, she served in senior IOM roles in Bangkok, Vienna, Geneva and Manila.

Ms. Vojáčková-Sollorano holds a Diploma in International Economic Relations from the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, a Master’s Degree in History, Geography and International Law from the University of Vienna, and a Bachelor’s degree in History, Sociology, Geography and Political Science from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Ms. Vojáčková-Sollorano is proficient in English, German and Czech.

(Source: UN)

Siemens Energy and the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity have signed a contract for the Al Hamudhia substation, which will provide reliable and efficient power supply to the cities of Ramadi, Fallujah, Saqlawyah, Khalediyah and surrounding areas in Al Anbar governorate, North West of Baghdad.

Located about 20 kilometers away from Ramadi city, the turnkey 400- kilovolt (kV) Al Hamudhia substation will support greater grid connectivity and allows for a higher utilization of the Al Anbar power plant’s generated power, supporting anticipated energy demand growth of 10% annually.

Ammar Mohammed Kadhim, General Director of Planning and Studies Department, Iraqi Ministry of Electricity and the Head of the Japanese loan team “IQP22” projects at the Ministry, which are being financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said:

A top priority for the new government of Iraq is rebuilding the country’s power infrastructure. Upgrading and strengthening the Iraqi power grid is crucial to this ambitious plan, which will ultimately support Iraq’s economic, industrial and infrastructure development.

“We’re already working on comprehensive grid projects across the country in collaboration with international partners, like Siemens, to deploy the most reliable and advanced technologies.

The new substation will connect up to 750 Megavolt Amperes (MVA) to the national grid, helping decrease bottlenecks and transmission losses. Construction of Al Hamudhia station is expected to start in July 2020, and is scheduled for completion in July 2022.

Mahmoud Hanafy, Senior Vice President, Transmission Solutions at Siemens Energy, Middle East, said:

The new substation will support in providing reliable power to the homes and industries in the governorate of Al Anbar.

“Our grid technology enables more reliable, sustainable, efficient and flexible power systems. From transporting electricity from power plants to the distribution stations, all the way to the citizens, our ability to optimize flexibility and efficiency will contribute to boosting the transmission infrastructure of Iraq.

Part of the JICA’s projects in Iraq, the 400-kV Al Hamudhia’s scope of work includes the design, construction, equipment supply, erection, testing and commissioning and training of personnel. The project will be completed by Siemens Energy’s engineers in collaboration with specialized local Iraqi subcontractors.

The company is currently building 13, 132/33-kilovolt substations as part of the Siemens Roadmap for the Electrification of Iraq. These projects aim to strengthen the country’s electricity transmission and distribution network – with a particular focus on the governorate of Basra as well as the other governorates that are located in the middle and south of the country. Siemens is also supplying 35 power transformers to support the Iraqi power grid.

In April 2019, Siemens and the Government of Iraq signed an agreement to implement Phase 1 of the Roadmap, which is designed to meet the country’s reconstruction and power sector goals, and includes the addition of new and highly-efficient power generation capacity, rehabilitation and upgrade of existing power plants and the expansion of transmission and distribution networks. Following Siemens Roadmap for the Electrification of Iraq agreement, 791 MW of electricity has already been added to the country’s grid.

(Source: Siemens)

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)

Siemens, Lions and their partners inaugurate the rehabilitated health clinic in Baiji, Iraq

  • Al-Tawheed Center in Salah ad-Din Province was renovated by Iraq’s Ministry of Health
  • Siemens donated advanced medical and power equipment to NGO Lions Foundation Germany to support the rehabilitation of the clinic
  • Clinic is open to the public and has the capacity to treat up to 15,000 patients a year

As the world continues to grapple with a global pandemic, Siemens and Siemens Healthineers, the Iraqi Ministry of Health, the Office of the Governor and the Directorate of Health in Salah ad-Din Province, and the German NGO Stiftung der Deutschen Lions (Lions Foundation Germany) inaugurated the reopening of a health clinic in Baiji, Iraq.

Iraq’s Ministry of Health has repaired Al-Tawheed Center, which was damaged by Islamic State militants, and the clinic is fully renovated and equipped to provide much-needed medical care to residents of the province, approximately 200km north of Baghdad.

Siemens donated equipment including a digital x-ray, a dental treatment center, state-of-the-art laboratory equipment including a hematology blood analyzer, a power transformer and other devices to Lions Foundation Germany, which carried out the rehabilitation in cooperation with Lions Club Amman Philadelphia of Jordan. The center started accepting patients earlier this year and has the capacity to treat about 15,000 people a year.

Musab Alkateeb, CEO, Siemens in Iraq:

“Siemens has a long relationship with the city of Baiji and its people, and this clinic is a testament to our focus on delivering, together with our Iraqi and international partners, significant improvements to the country’s critical infrastructure, from reliable electric power to high-quality healthcare.”

After the arrival and installation of the donated equipment at PHC Baiji last year, Siemens provided training to clinic staff to use the state-of-the-art medical equipment and supporting systems. Lions will monitor usage over the next three years.

Dr. Wolf-Rüdiger Reinicke, Past Council Chair of Lions Germany, said:

“This health clinic demonstrates our commitment to the Iraqi people, and we are proud of our partnership with the Lions from Amman Philadelphia, Iraq’s Ministry of Health and Siemens that helped return this important facility to the community. We were encouraged that the smart clinic was completed on schedule, and we are devoted to our role in helping it run smoothly and providing the best services possible to all residents in the area.”

Siemens has been working in Baiji for almost 20 years, since the company delivered power generation turbines that helped run the country’s biggest refinery, a concrete plant and thousands of homes in the province.

That power plant was also damaged, and in September, Siemens and Orascom Construction signed an agreement with Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity to rebuild Baiji 1 and Baiji 2 plants in northern Iraq.

The facilities will have a combined generation capacity of 1.6 gigawatts when completed and are a major step in Siemens roadmap for rebuilding Iraq’s power sector that has already added more than 700 megawatts to Iraq’s grid.

(Source: Siemens)