Following the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq earlier this week, Iraq has so far received pledges of financing totalling around $30 billion to help with rebuilding the country after the devastating war against the Islamic State group.

While this is well short of the $88 billion in funding estimated to be needed, it is still a very significant boost for the country’s reconstruction programme, and will greatly improve the quality of life for millions of Iraqis.

Commenting on the outcome, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said:

After the last three days in Kuwait, I feel hope for a new Iraq that is open for business and prepared to face the next challenge of rebuilding communities while reconstructing schools, roads, bridges, hospitals and public infrastructure.

“A prosperous Iraq will be a pillar for development and stability in the region.

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The World Bank Group and the Government of Iraq signed two projects today totaling US$510 million to help the Iraqi people by improving living conditions, enhancing water supplies, and creating jobs.

The two projects along with the ongoing US$750 million Emergency Operation for Development program and other planned commitments, will increase the World Bank’s total commitment to Iraq to US$4.7 billion, compared to US$600 million four years ago.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim (pictured) attended the signing ceremony for the two projects, which took place on the sidelines of the Iraq Reconstruction Conference hosted by the State of Kuwait.

The increased Bank commitment will help support immediate restoration of education and health services, rebuilding important roads and bridges, and rehabilitation of electricity and water systems. The ongoing emergency reconstruction projects have already created thousands of jobs for Iraqis and the new projects are expected to create millions more.

“We will mobilize the full range of the World Bank Group’s expertise to invest in a new, stronger Iraq,” President Kim said in a speech at the opening of the Iraq Reconstruction Conference. “We will continue to work with our international partners to ensure the smooth and sustainable transition from stabilization through recovery to reconstruction.”

The World Bank is committed to scaling up its support for Iraq reconstruction and development subject to availability of resources. In addition to the financial support, the World Bank Group has been actively engaging with the Iraqi Government through providing technical assistance for Iraq’s recovery and to lay the foundation for private sector investments in Iraq.

“We will work hand in hand with the private sector to support Iraq,” said Kim. “We must all invest in Iraq’s smart and ambitious youth. We must invest in Iraq’s resilient women. These are the investments that will remain long after the reconstruction process has ended.”

In the leadup to the conference, the Iraqi government unveiled its National Reconstruction and Development Framework. The framework aims to both redress the impact of the current crisis and prevent future crises by addressing the structural causes of conflict.

By promoting the critical reforms needed to establish a new social contract, the framework provides a roadmap for rebuilding trust between citizens and the government.

To read the full transcript of President Kim’s speech, click here.

(Source: World Bank Group)

UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched the Iraq Recovery and Resilience Programme today at the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq.

The two-year Recovery and Resilience Programme is designed to fast-track the social dimensions of reconstruction and help ensure that people see tangible improvements in their daily lives at the start of the reconstruction process, rather than waiting years to benefit from large-scale infrastructure projects and structural reforms.

“Iraq surmounted an incredible challenge in its defeat of ISIL, but many challenges still remain,” said the UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “After the last three days in Kuwait, I feel hope for a new Iraq that is open for business and prepared to face the next challenge of rebuilding communities while reconstructing schools, roads, bridges, hospitals and public infrastructure. A prosperous Iraq will be a pillar for development and stability in the region.”

The RRP focuses on urgent priorities – helping people who have suffered the most, revitalizing the areas at the highest risk of return to violence, and advancing broad political participation and inclusive social harmony.

“Reconstruction is not just about rebuilding infrastructure-it’s about improving people’s lives,” said United Nations’ Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande.

The RRP includes nine components. Three will be implemented in high priority communities where violent extremism may possibly emerge unless steps are taken to restore community trust, build confidence in the Government and open economic opportunities. Six of the components are national in scope.

These components focus on decentralizing basic services, promoting sustainable returns, providing support to survivors, accelerating community reconciliation and expanding political and social participation.

“Together with community and tribal reconciliation, national political settlement and accord, based on the principle of citizenship with equal rights, obligations, justice and opportunities for all, is critically important for a future stable, united and prosperous Iraq,” said the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Ján Kubiš.

The UN is seeking USD 482 million for the first year of the RRP and an additional USD 568 million to help stabilize high-risk areas. Separately, partners are seeking USD 569 million to provide life-saving assistance to 3.4 million highly vulnerable people across Iraq through the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan.

Download the Iraq Recovery and Resilience Programme here in English, and here in Arabic.

(Source: UN)

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is hoping for more concrete pledges from international donors on the second day of a conference on rebuilding cities and infrastructure shattered by the conflict with ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS).

On Monday, non-governmental organisations pledged more than $300 million to the reconstruction effort, far short of the $100 billion the government says it needs.

Al Jazeera‘s Sami Zeidan reports from Kuwait:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is hoping to raise billions of dollars at a donor conference starting on Monday in Kuwait – to finance the reconstruction after its campaign against ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS).

It is estimated that $100bn is needed for the reconstruction.

Large parts of Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, are still in ruins, more than six months after it was retaken by the government.

Al Jazeera’s Sami Zeidan reports from Kuwait:

Kuwait Energy Signs Block 9, Iraq Farm-out Agreement with Dragon Oil

Kuwait Energy (KEC) has announced the signing of the Block 9, Iraq Farm-out Agreement with Dragon Oil (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emirates National Oil Company Ltd, the national oil company of Dubai).

As per the Farm-out Agreement, Kuwait Energy will assign a 15% participating interest in the Block 9, Iraq service contract comprised of 8.57% participating interest in Block 9, Iraq to Dragon Oil in consideration for US$100 million in cash; and 6.43% participating interest in Block 9, Iraq to Dragon Oil in settlement of a dispute with Dragon Oil in relation to a non-controlling interest in Block 9, Iraq.

The agreement was signed on 11 February 2018 by Ali Rashid al Jarwan, Dragon Oil Chief Executive Officer (CEO); and Abby Badwi, the CEO of Kuwait Energy.

Abby Badawi (pictured), Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Energy, said:

This is a great moment for Kuwait Energy and Dragon Oil. The extension of our Block 9 partnership with Dragon Oil has meant that both Companies can work as equal equity partners on the concession allowing us to best utilise our joint technical expertise in delivering the submission of the Block 9 full field development plan to the Iraqi government.

“The reduction in future Block 9 capital expenditure exposure coupled with the material cash injection strengthens Kuwait Energy liquidity position going forward.

The assignment of the 15% participating interest in Block 9, Iraq from Kuwait Energy to Dragon Oil remains subject to Iraqi government and partner approval. Post granting of these approvals, Kuwait Energy will remain the operator with a reduction in participating interest from 60% to 45%,

Dragon Oil participating interest will increase from 30% to 45% with the remaining 10% participating interest being held by Egyptian General Petroleum Company.

(Source: Kuwait Energy)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has included four Special Economic Zones in its list of major strategic projects to be presented during the Kuwait International Conference for Iraq Reconstruction, to be held in Kuwait from 12th to 14th February:

  1. Huteen zone/ Babylon Province for medium & heavy engineering manufacturing.
    Huteen is located in Babylon Province/ Eskandariya city near the State Co. for Mechanical Industries and the State Co. for Automobiles.
    40 km to the north of Hilla city center, 50 km to Baghdad city center.
    550 km to Basra city and its ports
    10 km east to the Euphrates
    12 km to the north of Al Musaiab thermo electricity station
    Total area is 15000000 m², around 6000 donum in addition to branch streets within the site.
    Sewage, water pipes, electricity and facilities are available with limited damages.
    45 big area warehouses protected with earth embankment for highly immunized products.
  2. Mid Euphrates zone in Dewaniya, 1500 donum for agricultural industries (agro-industry) including dairy products, fruits, vegetables and meat processing and canning.
  3. Fine Machining zone in Nineveh (Al Kindi Co., site or Jabir Bin Hayan Co. site). One of the sites to be selected to produce machinery and equipment for medium and small projects such as valves and pumps.
  4. Baghdad zone (near BIAP) for advance technologies (Smart city).
    The smart city shall provide various activities for interested people in information technology, entertainment and social technologies. It also includes a training center, weekly gathering of professionals and specialists, meetings and scientific debates halls, computer courses for children, restaurant and coffee shop, markets for electronic devices, internet services center, a training center to develop human skills, a museum for communication devices and post stamps representing Iraq’s history, halls for investing companies, halls for simulating modern training technologies, a hotel for the visitors and many other services.

The full 46-page document can be downloaded here.

(Source: NIC)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has included six rail projects in its list of major strategic projects to be presented during the Kuwait International Conference for Iraq Reconstruction, to be held in Kuwait from 12th to 14th February:

  1. New railway line (Baghdad-Kut-Umara-Basra) and branch line (Kut-Nasriya-Shuaiba-UmQasr)
    Length: 910km
    Number of lines: dual
    Axial load: 25 ton
    Passengers: 14 (million/year), Cargo : 35 (million/ton).
    Estimated cost (USD): Land Acquisition/2.73 billion, execution /11.0 billion, total/ 13.73 billion.
  2. Rehabilitation and development of the existing line (Baghdad –Diwaniya-Samawa-Basra)
    Length: 610km
    Number of lines: dual
    Axial load: 25 ton
    Passengers : 100 (million/year), Cargo: 70 (million/ton).
    Estimated cost (million USD): 793.
  3. Construction of Musaib-Karbala-Najaf –Semawa
    Length: 228km
    Number of lines: dual
    Axial load: 25 ton
    Passengers: 6 (million/year), Cargo : 2 (million/ton).
    Estimated cost (USD): Land Acquisition/750 million, execution /2.4 billion,
    total/ 3.150 billion.
  4. Construction of (Basra-Shalamcha–Iran line)
    Length: 35km
    Number of lines: single can be dual
    Axial load: 25ton
    Passengers: 2 million/year, Cargo: 10 million ton
    Estimated cost (USD): Land Acquisition 135 million; Execution, 500 million; Total 635million.
  5. Railway line (Mosul-Duhuk-Zakho-Turkey)
    Length: 160km
    Number of lines: dual
    Axial.load: 25ton
    Passengers: 1 million/year; Cargo: 55 million ton
    Estimated cost (USD): Land Acquisition, 450 million; Execution, 2.157 billion; Total, 2.607 billion.
  6. The railway line (Baghdad-Baquba-Kirkuk-Erbil-Mosul) and branch line (Baquba-Khanaqeen-Munthiriya-Iran)
    Length: 700 km
    Number of lines: multiple
    Axial load: 25 ton
    Passengers: 6 (million/year), Cargo : 20 (million/ton)
    Estimated cost (USD): Land Acquisition/1.650 billion, execution /7.0 billion, total/ 8.65 billion.

The full 46-page document can be downloaded here.

(Source: NIC)

(Picture Credit: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has included five oil storage facilities in its list of major strategic projects to be presented during the Kuwait International Conference for Iraq Reconstruction, to be held in Kuwait from 12th to 14th February:

  • Bin Omar field for crude oil in Basra Province, with a design capacity of 22x 66000 m3 (first phase) and 9x 66000 m3 (second phase).
  • Mosul field for Petroleum Products/ Gasoline 4x 10000 m3, Diesel Fuel 3x 10000 m3 and Kerosene 3x 10000 m3 in Mosul Province.
  • Tuba field for Petroleum Products/ Gasoline 4x 20000 m3, Diesel Fuel 2x 20000 m3, Kerosene 3x 10000 m3 and Jet fuel 2x 50000 m3 in Basra Province.
  • Aziziya field for Petroleum Products/ Gasoline 2x 10000 m3, Diesel Fuel 1x 10000 m3 and Kerosene 1x 10000 m3 in Kut.
  • Samara’a field for Petroleum Products/ Gasoline 4×2500 m3, Diesel Fuel 2×5000 m3 and Kerosene 2×5000 m3 in Saladin Province.

The full 46-page document can be downloaded here.

(Source: NIC)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has just announced the list of major strategic projects to be presented during the Kuwait International Conference for Iraq Reconstruction, to be held in Kuwait from 12th to 14th February.

The 157 large- and medium-sized projects span all sectors of the Iraqi economy, including oil and gas, transport, housing, agriculture and education.

The full 46-page document can be downloaded here.

(Source: NIC)