A Loan Agreement has been signed in Kuwait between the Republic of Iraq and Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) whereby the Fund will extend a loan of Kuwaiti Dinars twenty three million five hundred thousand (KD. 23,500,000/-), equivalent to about US$ 80 million, to contribute in financing of Building Modern Schools in Baghdad and the States Project in the Republic of Iraq.

It is worth mentioning that the Fund is a Kuwaiti Public Corporation, which relies entirely on its own resources for making loans and providing other kinds of development assistance. It is also worth mentioning that the Loan Agreement would contribute in achieving the fourth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in respect of good education that guarantees comprehensive education for all and to enhance opportunities for durable education.

The Loan Agreement was signed on behalf of the Republic of Iraq by Dr. Salahuddin Hamed AL-HADEETHY, Director-General of the Department of Public Debt, Ministry of Finance, and on behalf of the Fund by Mr. Abdulwahab Ahmed Al-Bader, Director-General of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

The Project shall participate in the economic and social development in the Republic of Iraq. Through elevating the educational and vocational levels of pupils in the primary and secondary levels by availing, more educational opportunities through provision of additional educational seats and building new schools that will participate in reducing overcrowding in double, triple teaching shifts, and reduce student’s dropouts.

The Project includes the construction of about 73 schools of either 18 or 12 classrooms over 15 Iraqi governorates. Works include civil, electrical and sanitary works for administration, classrooms and labs in addition to provision of sanitary facilities and utilities. The Project also includes provision of engineering consultancy services for design and supervision.

The total cost of the Project is estimated at about Iraqi Dinars 125.507 Million, equivalent of about KD. 48.3 million, of which the foreign currency is equivalent to about KD. 31.23 million, of which about 87.774 Million Iraqi Dinars, which about 21.84 Million Kuwaiti Dinar in foreign currency, it represents about 70% of the total cost of the Project. The project will be implemented within three years.

The Loan will be for a period of 20 years including 4 years grace period, and will be amortized in 40 semi-annual installments, the first of which will be due on 1st date on which any interest or other charge on the Loan shall fall due after the elapse of the above mentioned grace period. The interest at the rate of one and one-half of one percent (1.5%) per annum. An additional charge of one-half of one per cent (0.5%) per annum on the amounts withdrawn from the Loan and outstanding from time to time shall be paid to meet the administrative expenses and the expenses of implementing this Agreement

Upon signature of this Loan Agreement, this Loan will be the 3rd loan extended by the Fund to the Republic of Iraq, considering that the Fund has already extended 2 loans to Iraq in 1970 and 1971, totaling about KD 5.7 Million fully withdrawn.  In addition, the Fund is currently administering 4 Grants on behalf of the State of Kuwait amounting to about 85 million Kuwaiti Dinars (equivalent to US$ 290 million).

(Source: KFAED)

By John Lee.

A Kuwaiti businessman is reportedly planning to grow 100,000 date palms and build a nature reserve complete with ostriches and deer in southern Badia, 150 km from the city of Basra.

According to Reuters, Abdul-Aziz al-Babtain is investing $58 million in the project, which will see the palms grown over the next five to six years.

More here from Reuters.

(Source: Reuters)

By John Lee.

Kuwait Energy has reportedly hired an investment bank to advise it on options that could include selling all or part of its Block 9 field in southern Iraq.

Reuters says that Perella Weinberg Partners (PWP) will assist in creating liquidity and a cash buffer to repay debt.

Discussions on a possible merger with UK-listed SOCO International broke down earlier this year.

(Source: Reuters)

Mr. Jawad Ahmed Bu Khamseen, Chairman of the Kuwaiti Bu Khamseen Holding Group, said that Iraq represents a great gateway to religious tourism, which is an important pillar for Muslims in most parts of the world.

This important tourism sector has not been invested properly during the past periods of Iraq’s history where millions of visitors wish to carry out these holy rites annually. He added in his speech during the Iraq investment and reconstruction forum, held on April 26th  in Baghdad and after signing three memorandums of understanding with the National Investment Commission to set up hotels and shopping centers (Baghdad, Karbala, Samarra) that Iraq is a promising country and has the potential and huge economic resources that provide a fertile environment for successful investment and that the country has been exposed to successive wars, political and economic problems which contributed to the decline. Iraqi people and its political and economic leadership and management will overcome these issues.

He pointed out that the group was able, despite the difficulties and obstacles encountered during the past years represented by the security conditions and ISIS entry into Iraq and economic potential of the country being exhausted and wasted, to continue and move forward in projects represented by this grand edifice to serve visitors to the holy shrines in Iraq where The Grand Commercial Complex will be opened with two hotels (five stars) and operating in Najaf province at the end of this year.

He called on all investors to enter Iraq and participate in their investments according to their specialization especially after all obstacles and difficulties were removed and after Iraq has become a safe and stable investment environment.

(Source: NIC)

UNHCR and Consul General of Kuwait follow progress of Kuwait Fund project in Iraq

UNHCR Coordinator for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Ms. Monica Noro, and the Consul General of the State of Kuwait in Erbil, Dr. Omer Al-Kendari, visited Dohuk Governorate yesterday to observe the progress of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) project to improve the living conditions of camp-based Syrian refugees in Dohuk and Erbil Governorates in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The USD 10 million multi-year project aims to improve the shelter, water and sanitation conditions of over 73,000 Syrian refugees living in five camps in Dohuk and Erbil. It will upgrade 1,500 shelters and construct 150 new shelters, build a drainage channel and install outdoor solar lights in Domiz camps in Dohuk, and enhance protection by providing lighting at night in the camps.

The project also funds much-needed construction work to improve roads, and replace generator-run water pumps with solar water pumps in camps in Erbil. The upgrade of shelters in the Dohuk camps is almost complete, while construction work in the Erbil camps is expected to begin in May.

By reducing pressure on existing infrastructures and facilities, it contributes to improvements to the living conditions of the wider community. Effective collaboration with the Government enabled the implementation of the project.

Dr. Omer Al-Kendari said, “The State of Kuwait continues to affirm its humanitarian commitment to support the Syrian refugees in several countries. This support came from the humanitarian vision of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Leader of Humanitarian Action.”

“The State of Kuwait has adopted three conferences for donor countries and their participation in the Fourth Conference, in continuation of these humanitarian stands,” continued Dr. Al-Kendari. “We are visiting Al-Domiz camp today to see the development of services provided by the Kuwaiti Fund for Development in cooperation with the international partners represented by the UNHCR, which we are proud of this relationship, and of course with the support of the local government of Duhok Governorate represented by Mr. Farhad Al-Atrushi the Governor of Duhok. We hope that this cooperation will continue and that humanitarian projects will be implemented until the crises of the refugee brothers, whether in this camp or in other camps, ends.”

Acknowledging the fruitful collaboration between Kuwait and UNHCR, Ms. Monica Noro said: “Thanks to the generous contribution of KFAED thousands of Syrian refugees will benefit from enhanced protection, new and upgraded shelter facilities, additional livelihood opportunities, and reinforced camp infrastructures.” Ms. Noro added, “While funding for Syrian refugees in Iraq is critically low, the Kuwait contribution will offer a more sustainable solution to refugees and their hosting communities since conditions are not yet conducive for their return to Syria.”In 2018, the State of Kuwait is to date the largest donor for earmarked funding to the Syria situation response in Iraq.

(Source: United Nations)

By John Lee.

Kuwait Energy has started producing natural gas from the Siba field, south of Basra, on Wednesday.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] (pictured) announced an inital production rate of 25 million cubic feet a day (mcf/d), increasing to 100 mcf/d by the end of the year.

Kuwait Energy was awarded a 20 year Gas Development and Production Service Contract (GDPSC) for the Siba field in June 2011, granting the company operatorship and 45 percent revenue interest, but it farmed out a 20 percent stake to the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) in October 2016.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil will hold a conference on Thursday 29th March to announce for a new licensing round to develop and rehabilitate 11 exploration zones on the borders of Iran and Kuwait, including one offshore zone on the Gulf.

The conference will be attended by 13 international companies which have purchased the data portfolios, in addition to two companies which intended to buy data portfolios.

These 15 companies will compete for the rights to develop and rehabilitate these exploration zones.

Assim Jihad, spokesman of the Ministry of Oil, said also that the form of the contract will be “service contract with a few modifications”.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Oil Ministry has signed a a memorandum of cooperation with the Kuwait-based company Al-Arfaj, with a view to capturing and using associated gas from Iraq’s oil fields.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] ending gas flaring and using the gas for petrochemical production was a priority for the Ministry.

According to a statement from the Ministry:

“The memorandum included the formation of a coordination committee between the two sides to exchange the information about the projects in the zone and the world. The memorandum included also the desire of the company to participate in the flare gas investment project and the methanol production, as well as to invite the ministry of oil to contribute in the investment of the project of building an oil refinery in India with a petrochemicals complex.”

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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.

Many readers of Iraq Business News will play key roles in this reconstruction effort, and we would like to wish them every success in this important work.

To promote your business to the Iraqi market, please contact our sales manager, David Jeffries: david.jeffries@iraq-businessnews.com, +44 20 8150 5293.

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)