The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) welcomes an additional contribution of USD 3.6 million from the Government of Japan to support reconstruction and peacebuilding in Iraq through the rehabilitation of war-damaged houses and construction of low-cost housing units in Sinjar, Ninewa Governorate.

Under the new phase of this project, UN-Habitat will improve living conditions in Sinjar through a comprehensive urban recovery approach, including

(a) rehabilitation of public spaces and infrastructure,

(b) construction of low-cost housing units to accommodate returnees whose houses are totally destroyed and have not received any support for rehabilitation or reconstruction of their houses, and

(c) vocational training. Graduates of the vocational training will be employed for rehabilitation and construction activities implemented by UN-Habitat, which will contribute to rebuilding their livelihoods.

His Excellency Mr. Hashimoto Naofumi, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Iraq, stated:

Japan has recently decided to provide a new assistance package for Iraq amounting to USD 41 million including this project as assistance for conflict-affected areas in Ninewa Governorate. With this package, the total amount of Japan’s assistance to the people affected by the crisis reaches USD 540 million since 2014.

“I hope that the assistance from the Government and people of Japan will help rebuild livelihoods of affected communities through rehabilitating community infrastructure and housing units“.

UN-Habitat is grateful to the people and the Government of Japan for their continuous generous support which allows integration of the New Urban Agenda and physical interventions for post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding.

In line with the New Urban Agenda, UN-Habitat is committed to promote adequate services, accommodation and decent job opportunities for conflict-affected persons in urban settings.

With a contribution of approximately $55 million since 2015, the Government of Japan has been a vital partner to UN-Habitat’s Iraq Programme.

(Source: Reliefweb)

Newly trained women in Ninewa produce face masks to combat spread of COVID-19 in Iraq

In January 2020, UNDP and Kurdistan Human Rights Watch (KHRW) collaborated to train sixty women on sewing and tailoring in Ninewa over the course of a ten-day workshop.

At the time, these women could not have foreseen how their newly developed skills would contribute to combatting the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic currently sweeping the globe.

As of 25 March 2020, the World Health Organization has tracked over 400, 000 cases of COVID-19 with over 18, 000 confirmed deaths. The pandemic has affected 197 countries, areas, and territories, including Iraq.

When a pharmaceutical company contracted by the Ninewa Department of Health was tasked with producing five million disposable face masks in response to the spread of COVID-19, thirty of the recently trained women were employed to use their skills to produce the masks.

After briefings on the health standards and nature of the environment required for mask production, the seamstresses began creating thousands of masks daily in controlled conditions.

Working swiftly to produce this vital personal protection equipment despite the curfew in Ninewa Governorate, these skilled women are directly contributing to the mitigation of COVID-19 in Iraq.

Aseel, 45, says:

“We have produced thousands of pieces and the major portion is delivered to the Ninewa Health Department. Some other organizations are also receiving face masks from us and they distribute those free of cost in communities and camps.”



Not only has the sewing and tailoring skills training empowered sixty women with new abilities, it has also instilled within them hope for their futures. Sustainable development projects such as these are at the forefront of UNDP Iraq’s priorities.

Nora, 37, says:

“I am working on developing myself in the sewing profession and in the future, I would like to create a workplace for sewing or a small factory.”

The organization and facilitation of skills development workshops with Kurdistan Human Rights Watch is part of a project spearheaded by UNDP Iraq under the Social Cohesion Programme, which aims to improve the enabling environment for peace and social cohesion in all areas of Iraq.

(Source: UNDP)

The Ninewa Investment Forum is taking place from 3rd to 5th December in Erbil.

This two-day event will showcase investment-ready businesses to private investors from around the world.

Presenting a portfolio of very attractive investment opportunities will spark a virtuous cycle of both exciting project opportunities and increased investor confidence.

The event is organized by the Iraq Governance and Performance Accountability (IGPA) project, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and will feature experts and speakers in international investment and development.

The Forum represents a unique collaboration between the U.S. and Iraqi private and public sectors to support communities in Ninewa through catalytic investment opportunities.

Register now

Registration is open to qualified individuals on a space-availability basis. All registration will be confirmed by the Ninewa Investment Forum team.

(Source: Invest in Ninewa)

By John Lee.

To improve living conditions for returnee populations living in newly liberated areas, UNOPS – with funding from the government of Japan – is helping to provide renewable energy and emergency waste disposal services in three Iraqi governorates.

“[This project] comes at a time when Iraq is counting on its friends to recover after its battle against ISIS and after the liberation of Iraqi territories,” said Mr. Istabraq Al shook, Deputy Minister of Iraq’s Ministry of Construction, Housing, Municipalities and Public Works at a recent handover ceremony.

“The UN and the people of Japan and its government showed a solid commitment to stand by Iraq during critical hard times and after the crisis. Today’s closing ceremony is a testimony of this commitment,” he added.

With a $3.1 million donation from the government of Japan, UNOPS procured solid waste machinery and provided specialized training to local authorities on modern waste disposal systems, better utilization of debris, and waste sorting and recycling.

UNOPS further installed solar systems – to help alleviate frequent electricity shortages – as well as street lights and water heaters in six health facilities in the governorates of Anbar, Diyala and Ninewa.

“I hope that this project helps to urgently restore basic services needed for daily lives, such as energy and waste disposal, and that the people in those liberated areas can restore and lead a stable life as quickly as possible,” said Mr. Naofumi Hashimoto, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq.

“UNOPS remains committed to supporting the government and the people of Iraq in addressing significant challenges the country is facing, and remains grateful to the people and government of Japan for their continued support to the people of Iraq,” said UNOPS Programme Advisor Ms. Huda Al-Ani.

Mr. Ahmed Shalash, Deputy Director General of Engineering Affairs at the Ministry of Health and Environment, and Mr. Abdul Qadir Al Dhakheel, General Director of Ninewa Municipality attended the handover ceremony held in Baghdad.

(Source: UNOPS)

Top Mountain in partnership with USAID is launching a business incubator and employment program. The goal of the program is to promote economic growth and increase employment opportunities to support minorities from Ninewa targeted by ISIS.

Program activities will focus on achieving three core objectives designed to support this goal. Firstly, outreach campaigns will be used to increase interest in entrepreneurship and careers in the private sector.

Secondly, the project will build capacity in both technical and soft skills that will help beneficiaries start businesses and become more competitive in the job market. Lastly, the project will help to build professional networks that increase business and employment opportunities for persecuted minorities from Ninewa.

USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID has funded this program under the New Partnership Initiative (NPI) that aims to assist populations in Iraq recovering from the genocide perpetrated by ISIS.

Top Mountain is a consulting firm based in Iraq focused on stabilization, economic development, and promoting employment and entrepreneurship. This program is aligned with Top Mountain’s mission to support economic development and stability in Iraq.

For more information please contact

(Source: Top Mountain)

IOM Iraq’s Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) encourages rapid, large-scale private sector job creation and economic recovery through tailored support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The EDF is a financing mechanism that provides SMEs with financial capital to contribute to their recovery and/or expansion.

To assess the capacity of the market to absorb medium-sized grants, the EDF market assessment was rolled out in Kirkuk, Fallujah, and Mosul in November 2018.

The assessment was led by IOM Iraq’s Return and Recovery Unit (RRU) and contributes to the necessary groundwork to introduce the EDF in any location.

Please see below the assessments for three governorates:

(Source: IOM)

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] (pictured) has announced that the re-construction and rehabilitation of the first unit of the Al-Kask refinery in Ninawa is complete.

The facility can process 10,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).

Work is continuing to finish the second unit, which also has a capacity of 10,000 bpd.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) concluded a two-day workshop in Baghdad with 33 organizations seeking to create and design activities together that will assist in the voluntary return of displaced Iraqis to the Ninewa Plain and western Ninewa, and to encourage those who are already in their communities to remain.

The workshop welcomed two senior advisers who attended on behalf of Vice President Mike Pence, further signaling the Administration’s strong commitment to finding innovative solutions to helping the return of displaced populations in Iraq and across the world.

“All Iraqi people suffered greatly during the cruel occupation by ISIS, and the United States is providing assistance to help displaced families return home, including to the Ninewa Plain and western Ninewa, two areas that exemplify Iraq’s unique cultural heritage and religious tolerance.

We look forward to reviewing the innovative proposals that come out of this workshop,” stated Ambassador Douglas Silliman (pictured).

With the liberation of ISIS-controlled territory, approximately 3.5 million Iraqis have already returned home, yet another 2.3 million remain internally displaced. Many of those are from smaller, more vulnerable ethnic and religious groups.

Communities in the Ninewa Plain and western Ninewa face unique and complex post-conflict challenges, and the factors that influence individuals to return to their homes and remain there need to be identified, assessed, and addressed.

USAID’s workshop provides an opportunity for organizations to create high-quality, effective, and efficient partnerships for research, development, and testing of innovative, practical, and cost-effective projects.

(Source: US Embassy)

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office in Iraq has issued a call for expressions of interest to fund activities that assist in the voluntary return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Ninewa Plains and western Ninewa, and to encourage those who are already in their communities to remain.

Ambassador Douglas Silliman (pictured) stated that,

“This initiative will allow the U.S. government to work hand-in-hand with organizations and private companies to help communities persecuted and displaced by violence to build a stronger future.”

With the liberation of ISIS-controlled territory, approximately 2.2 million Iraqis have already returned home, yet another three million Iraqis remain internally displaced. Many of those displaced are minorities, including from diverse religious and ethnic groups.

People in the Ninewa Plains and western Ninewa face unique post-conflict challenges, and the factors that influence these individuals to return to their homes and remain there need to be identified, assessed, and addressed.

The intent of this funding announcement is to allow co-creation and co-design — to the maximum extent possible — to create high-quality, effective, and efficient partnerships for research, development, piloting, and testing of innovative, practical, cost-effective, and scalable interventions.

Interested parties should refer to or for the full Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) posting and submission requirements. Submissions are due by November 30, 2017.

(Source: U.S. Embassy)

By Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Gen. Hadi Halabjayi and his peshmerga troops were getting settled in the new territory in the Khazir area they had captured from the Islamic State (IS) in late May after a day and a half of fighting.

Sitting under a cloth shade hung between two vehicles, Halabjayi held a piece of shrapnel from a mortar that had landed just minutes before.

“It’s a big territory we have taken and we are quite close to Mosul now from this side as well,” Halabjayi told Al-Monitor, as he pointed toward a nearby village.

A few minutes later, he got up with the help of a wooden stick and surveyed the hot, dusty plains of eastern Ninevah province. Occasionally, he shouted an order at the people around him.

“These territories are Kurdistan’s now. We will not give them back to the Iraqi army or anybody else,” said the general. “We have had four of our peshmergas die here and several injured for this territory. [IS] exploded eight suicide bombers in this area,” he said.

Halabjayi’s words sum up the sentiments among the peshmerga and Kurdish officials these days: The blood they are shedding should not go in vain.

In a two-day operation over May 29-30, 5,500 Kurdish peshmerga forces wrested control of nine villages from IS encompassing an area of around 120 square kilometers (46 square miles).

Kurdish authorities described the offensive as “one of the many shaping operations” to increase pressure on IS militants in nearby Mosul leading up to an eventual charge on the major IS stronghold.