Cultural Property Consultants (CPC) and the University of Pennsylvania Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) have been awarded a $2 million grant to launch the Mosul Heritage Stabilization Program (MHSP).

MHSP seeks to assist Iraqis in the preservation and protection of cultural heritage by contributing to the maintenance and promotion of cultural memory, identity, diversity, and freedom of expression in an effort to mitigate the effects of genocide, cultural cleansing, and prolonged conflict in northern Iraq.

Funding for the 40-month project comes from a Department of State Cooperative Agreement, S-NEAAC-18-CA-0043, under the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation and is a part of a larger $300 million USAID and Department of State initiative to support Iraqi communities after the war against the Islamic State (ISIS).

Richard L. Zettler is Project Director and an associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also associate curator-in-charge of Penn Museum’s Near East Section. Michael Danti serves as Project Manager and Allison Cuneo is Project Coordinator. Ali Jubbouri, former dean of the University of Mosul’s College of Archaeology, is the Iraq Team Coordinator. MHSP partners include Mosul University College of Engineering, Consultancy for Conservation and Development, and EAMENA.

(Sources: Cultural Property Consultants, University of Pennsylvania)

The World Health Organization (WHO) extends its gratitude to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM) for the generous contribution of US$ 2.5 million to increase the health security and resilience of Syrian refugees living in Iraq.

In 2018, Iraq continued to host Syrian refugees. It is estimated that about 250,000 Syrian refugees are currently residing in the three governorates of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) namely Erbil, Dahuk, and Sulaymaniyah, the majority of which (64%) lives with the hosting communities.

“There is an urgent need to support the local health authorities in KRI to ensure that Syrian refugees here have access to proper health services,” said Dr. Adham R. Ismail, Acting WHO Representative in Iraq. “Providing comprehensive primary, secondary, referral, and outbreak prevention and response services in the three refugee governorates is a WHO priority for the coming phase; it will indirectly improve the resilience of the refugees and host communities against potential public health emergencies,” he added.

Syrian refugees in Iraq have been given free access to primary health care services whether through camp-based primary health care centers ((PHCC) for refugees living in camps or public health facilities specified for those living with the host communities.

These services have been provided by the directorates of health of Erbil, Dohuk, and Suleimaniya in collaboration with WHO and health partners. However, the mass internal displacement of over 3.3 million Iraqis in 2014 had stretched the capacity of the national health authorities and humanitarian partners to continue meeting the needs of refugees and respond to the inflated demand for health care intervention.

As of 2018, WHO has been active in filling the gaps in essential medicines and medical supplies and equipment, improving referral services, and supporting surveillance and water quality monitoring activities in the refugee camp and non-camp settings. According to the 2017 national health reports, the said DOHs have provided a total of 264,611 consultations to Syrian refugees residing in KRG of Iraq.

The contribution of US$ 2.5 million from the U.S. BPRM will support the provision of comprehensive primary health care and referral services for around 300,000 Syrian refugees and host communities in KRI. It will also support the healthcare services for the disabled and mentally ill patients in the three mentioned governorates through a comprehensive training program for the national professionals working in the mental health area.

The contribution will also cover the procurement and distribution of essential medicines, and medical supplies and equipment to selected health facilities serving the refugees in target governorates.

(Source: UN)

Ambassador James Jeffrey Assumes Role of Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS

Ambassador James Jeffrey (pictured), the current Special Representative for Syria Engagement, has taken on the additional role of the Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, effective January 4, 2019.

With this additional responsibility, Ambassador Jeffrey will lead and coordinate U.S. Department of State relations with the Global Coalition to defeat ISIS and Department efforts to implement President Trump’s announcement of a responsible U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria that is coordinated with our global Allies and partners consistent with U.S. goals for Syria and Iraq, including the enduring defeat of ISIS.

He takes over from Brett McGurk, who resigned following disagreements with President Donald Trump’s strategy on Syria.

Jeffrey has previously served as US Ambassador to Iraq.

(Sources: US State Department, Washington Free Beacon)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Ali Alhakim [Mohammed Ali al-Hakim] (pictured) has been quoted as saying that Iraq is not obliged to abide by US sanctions against Iran.

According to Rudaw, he told journalists on Wednesday:

“These sanctions, the siege, or what is called the embargo, these are unilateral, not international. We are not obliged [to follow] them.”

Some “possibilities” have been proposed that would keep trade routes open with Iran, “including dealing in Iraqi dinars in bilateral trade,” he added.

More here.

(Source: Rudaw)

Alliant Techsystems Inc. has been awarded a $36,570,512 firm-fixed-price modification (P00045) to contract FA8106-16-C-0004 that exercises Option Year Three for contractor logistic support.

This contract provides the Iraqi Air Force’s Cessna 208 fleet and the 208/172 Trainer fleet with contractor logistic support.

Work will be performed in Iraq and is expected to be completed Dec. 31, 2019.

This contract involves 100 percent foreign military sales to Iraq and is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

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

Trump declares end to US ‘policeman’ role in surprise Iraq visit

President Donald Trump uses a lightning visit to Iraq – his first with US troops in a conflict zone since being elected – to defend the withdrawal from Syria and declare an end to America’s role as the global “policeman.”

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US-based oil services company Halliburton has today announced it has signed two contracts with Eni Iraq BV to provide integrated drilling services at Eni’s Zubair oilfield in Southern Iraq.

Under the contracts, Halliburton will mobilize four to six rigs to drill development wells over the next two years.

Mahmoud El-Kady, vice president of the Iraq Area for Halliburton, said:

“We are pleased to be awarded this work and the opportunity to collaborate with Eni to engineer solutions for the development of Zubair.

“We have provided a wide array of drilling services to Eni since 2011 and signing these contracts are a testimony to our continuous commitment to safety and superior service quality.

(Source: Halliburton)

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

There is a fight over energy in Iraq between the US and Iran. Iraq relies on Iranian gas for nearly half of its energy – gas that is now subject to US sanctions on Iran.

The Iraqi government originally obtained a 45-day sanctions waiver from the US, but that waiver is set to expire next week.

Iraq is particularly sensitive to the issue after protests against electricity cuts rocked Basra earlier in the year and Iraq’s new government is treading a thin line trying to keep both the US and Iran happy, and its people satisfied.

Al Jazeera’s Charlotte Bellis reports:

By John Lee.

US-based Schlumberger has won a deal with Iraq’s Basra Oil Company (BOC) to drill 40 new wells at Majnoon oilfield.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Ministry of Oil also announced that the BOC had entered into a 19-month contract with the Iraqi Oil Exploration Company to carry out 2D and 3D seismic surveys at the field.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

By John Lee.

More than 100 top executives from more than 50 US companies visitied Iraq last week as part of a US-Iraq trade mission.

Steve Lutes, vice president of Middle East Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said:

“We want to expand and diversify the US involvement in commercial activity [in Iraq] … We look forward to building on this momentum and exploring next steps!”

U.S. Ambassador Douglas Silliman described the event as, “the largest US Chamber of Commerce business delegation anywhere in the world this year!

Now we work to negotiate real contracts and investments,” he added.

(Sources: Govt of Iraq, US Chamber of Commerce)