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

Iraq poised for ambitious plan after Babylon listed by UNESCO

After 36 years of lobbying by Iraq, the ancient Mesopotamian city of Babylon was designated in JulyUNESCO World Heritage Site.

But this may mean even harder work for Baghdad and the local administration, which now have to implement a tough plan for the management and protection of the site that was the seat of successive empires under rulers such as Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar.

Click here to read the full article.

By John Lee.

The Mayor’s office of Sulaimani has said it will initiate a recycling program, separating trash from recyclable material.

According to Kurdistan24, the move will see three garbage bins placed inside the building of the Mayor’s office: one for food waste, one for plastics, and the other for glass items.

More here.

(Source: Kurdistan24)

The Cabinet held its regular weekly meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mr. Adil Abd Al-Mahdi. It:

  • voted to adopt the recommendation of the Ministerial Council on Energy on the Charter of Cooperation of Oil-Producing Countries which aims to promote stability in the global oil market;
  • approved the allocation of funds to the Ministry of Construction, Housing, Municipalities and Public Works for the completion of Phase II of the Kirkuk Unified Water Project, one of the largest water projects in Iraq.
  • approved the allocation of funds to the Ministry of Justice to support its prison construction programme and the rehabilitation and refurbishment of existing facilities.
  • agreed that state-owned Mesopotamia, a Ministry of Agriculture company, can borrow from the Trade Bank of Iraq, and other banks the amount of 300 billion dinars to pay farmers for its purchases of the 2019 barley produce.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

By John Lee.

Iraqi authorities have failed to ensure for almost 30 years that Basra residents have sufficient safe drinking water, resulting in on-going health concerns, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released today.

The situation culminated in an acute water crisis that sent at least 118,000 people to hospital in 2018 and led to violent protests.

The 128-page report, “Basra is Thirsty: Iraq’s Failure to Manage the Water Crisis,” found that the crisis is a result of complex factors that if left unaddressed will most likely result in future water-borne disease outbreaks and continued economic hardship.

The authorities at the local and federal level have done little to address the underlying conditions causing the situation.

More here.

(Source: HRW)

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

Can Iraq get its water wheels on UNESCO World Heritage List?

Iraq has been working for the last three months to rehabilitate its historical norias in Hit, a city located in western Iraq on the banks of the upper Euphrates River.

The Iraqi government aims to inscribe these water wheels, which played an important role in the irrigation of the land for centuries, on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Click here to read the full story.

JICA (Japan) and UNDP Partnership Agreement to Accelerate the Projects for Socio-Economic Development in Iraq

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and UNDP announced a renewed agreement and commemorated the 10th anniversary for their partnership to accelerate the implementation of socio-economic infrastructure projects in Iraq to improve the economic recovery and living condition of Iraqi people in key sectors such as electricity, water and sanitation, oil, irrigation, transportation, industry, health and communication. The GoI welcomes the reinforced partnership between JICA and UNDP.

Since 2008, JICA has signed 31 loan agreements, total amount of which is JPY 830 billion (equivalent to USD 7.7 billion), with Iraqi Government for economic and social infrastructure projects and programs in Iraq to improve daily lives of Iraqi people. In order to ensure accountability, transparency and efficiency in project implementation, the Government of Iraq (GoI) and the Government of Japan/JICA jointly established a monitoring mechanism called Monitoring Committee (M/C) in 2008. UNDP has undertaken the supporting role to assist and advise the M/C based on the partnership agreement between JICA and UNDP.

Under this partnership, UNDP has been working alongside JICA and the Government of Iraq (GoI) on project monitoring and capacity development. UNDP identifies bottlenecks pertaining to project implementation, providing analyses and recommendations for action on cross-cutting issues to the M/C to accelerate project implementation.

The M/C is the longest continual committee in the GoI system as the 43rd M/C Meeting was held on 4th July 2019 in Baghdad with Iraqi ministries to update the progress and find the solutions for challenges that the projects face in order to accelerate the project implementation and deliver the public services to the Iraqi people.

The GoI, JICA and UNDP reconfirm all parties’ continual efforts to enhance this tripartite collaboration mechanism to expedite the improvement of national strategic infrastructures, which will contribute to better public services as well as to the private sector development for more and better job opportunities.

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s ancient city of Babylon has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Situated 85 km south of Baghdad, the property includes the ruins of the city which, between 626 and 539 BCE, was the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

It includes villages and agricultural areas surrounding the ancient city. Its remains, outer and inner-city walls, gates, palaces and temples, are a unique testimony to one of the most influential empires of the ancient world.

Seat of successive empires, under rulers such as Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon represents the expression of the creativity of the Neo-Babylonian Empire at its height.

The city’s association with one of the seven wonders of the ancient world—the Hanging Gardens—has also inspired artistic, popular and religious culture on a global scale.

(Source: UNESCO)

By John Lee.

The Iraqi government has issued a report on the implementation of its 2018-2022 programme.

The report covers the period from October 2018, when the government came to office, to April 2019, providing an overview of what has been implemented from the government programme, identifying obstacles that may impede the completion of several projects, and outlining measures to address them.

Iraqi officials say that the report, the first of its kind to be issued by an Iraqi government, is an important measure to strengthen transparency and hold the government accountable before the Iraqi people and their parliamentary representatives.

Click here to download the report (Arabic only)

(Source: Government of Iraq)

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

Basra protests build in Iraq as sub-standard services persist

In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, Iraqi Minister of Electricity Luay al-Khatteeb talked about the situation of Iraq’s electricity sector amid tense US-Iran relations.

He discussed the waiver timeline that Washington granted Baghdad to keep buying Iranian gas and mentioned his fear that some parties are politicizing the electricity sector in Iraq.

Click here to read the full story.

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

Basra protests build in Iraq as sub-standard services persist

In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, Iraqi Minister of Electricity Luay al-Khatteeb talked about the situation of Iraq’s electricity sector amid tense US-Iran relations.

He discussed the waiver timeline that Washington granted Baghdad to keep buying Iranian gas and mentioned his fear that some parties are politicizing the electricity sector in Iraq.

Click here to read the full story.