USAID: Iraq Reconstruction and Humanitarian Relief Weekly Update #15 (FY 2005) – Iraq

This report highlights USAID’s overall
accomplishments and recent reconstruction efforts in Iraq. For more information,
please visit

USAID assists Iraqis in reconstructing
their country by working with Iraq’s Interim Government. Programs are
implemented in coordination with the United Nations, country partners,
nongovernmental organizations and private sector partners.


USAID’s goal is to improve the efficiency
and reliability of existing water and wastewater treatment facilities,
especially those in the south where water quantity and quality are particularly
low. An anticipated 11.8 million Iraqis will benefit from USAID’s
$600 million in water and sanitation projects.

Major Accomplishments to Date

  • Nationwide: Repaired various
    sewage lift stations and water treatment units.

  • Baghdad: Expanding one water
    treatment plant and constructing another to increase capacity by approximately
    70 million gallons per day; rehabilitating sewage treatment plants.

    – A major wastewater treatment plant
    in Baghdad began operating in June of 2004; this is the first major sewage
    plant in the country to operate in over 12 years.

    – The sewage treatment system in Baghdad,
    barely functioning for years before the conflict, will be restored to almost
    100-percent capacity, serving 80 percent of Baghdad’s population.

    – Standby generators are being installed
    at 41 Baghdad water facilities.

  • South: Rehabilitated parts of
    the Sweet Water Canal system, including repairing breaches, cleaning the
    main reservoir, and refurbished 14 water treatment plants around Basrah
    serving 1.75 million people.

  • South Central: Rehabilitating
    two water plants and four sewage plants.

    – Completed the rehabilitation of a sewage
    plant in Babil Governorate.

    – Sewage plants in An Najaf, Al Qadisiyah,
    Karbala, and Babil Governorates will serve 440,000 upon completion.

    – Water treatment in Najaf and Babil
    will serve residents and visitors at Iraq’s holiest shrines.

  • North: Completed rehabilitation
    of Kirkuk water plant and continuing refurbishment of sewage plant near

Highlights this week

Work is continuing on USAID’s Iraq
rural water supply initiative which will install approximately 150 units
in remote locations throughout the country. Work is in progress at
41 of the sites. Bidding for construction contracts for water
treatment units is underway; bid opening is planned for February 15, 2005.

There are approximately 4,000,000 people
in Iraq living in regions where water is either scarce or poor quality.
Various non-profit groups work to help the smallest of these communities
– typically populations of less than 1,000 – to find and establish a source
of water. However, many villages or clusters of villages with populations
between 1,000 and 5,000 are underserved because the costs required to develop
water sources on this scale is beyond their means and the means of non-profit
groups. Especially in the densely-populated south, where brackish
surface water and aquifers require reverse osmosis treatment, high costs,
and technical expertise are required to implement rural water systems.
This project benefits about 550,000 rural Iraqis.

Work is 60 percent complete on a project
to extensively repair the sewage collection system of a central district
of Baghdad. The project will restore critical elements of the sewage
collection system and restore sewage flow from the district to wastewater
treatment facilities. Work is scheduled to be completed in June 2005 and
will improve service for about 1.5 million residents.

Many parts of the district have poor
quality sewage disposal, which results in raw sewage pooling in streets
and homes. Overflows occur as a result of partially or completely
inoperable sewer lines, pump stations that cannot convey sewage from homes
to treatment plants, and collapsed pipes and blockages. Exposure
to the pools of raw sewage can cause serious health problems including
typhoid, cholera, diphtheria, and malaria.

Work is 18 percent complete to rehabilitate
two irrigation pump stations and one drainage pumping station in the Euphrates
River Basin in Babil Governorate. These pump stations are essential
to supply adequate drainage and reliable irrigation for the highly-productive
agriculture of this area which provides Baghdad with fresh produce. The
pumping stations are also used to regulate water levels and reduce damage
from flooding. Site assessments for this project were competed last
summer and it was determined that each station needs pumps and motors replaced.
The project is scheduled to be completed in July 2005.


USAID supports sustainable economic reforms
in Iraq including examining and reforming laws, regulations, and institutions
and providing a framework for private sector trade, commerce, and investment.
The reforms will strengthen the Central Bank and the Ministries of Finance,
Trade, Commerce and Industry – among others.

Major Accomplishments to Date

  • Worked with the Ministry of Finance
    to introduce the new Iraqi dinar.

  • Created more than 77,000 public works
    jobs through the National Employment Program.

  • Provided technical assistance on accounting,
    budgeting and lending activities at Iraq’s commercial banks.

  • Improved statistical analysis, monetary
    policymaking, and bank supervision procedures at Iraq’s Central Bank.

  • Provided technical assistance for CPA’s
    $21 million microcredit program.

  • Provided technical assistance for the
    Oil for Food transition to prepare Iraqi ministries to assume responsibility
    for OFF contracts.

  • Evaluated and updated commercial laws
    on private sector and foreign investment.

  • Assisted in developing the reconstruction
    levy in collaboration with the CPA and the UK Customs Service; this levy
    imposes a five percent tariff on imports to Iraq.

  • Developed a government-wide IT strategy
    to support the automation of planning, budgeting and reporting processes
    across ministries.

  • Provided technical assistance as well
    as information on contracting opportunities for Iraqi businesses through
    business centers.

  • Provided technical support for the re-opening
    of the Iraq Stock Exchange after it was closed down for more than 15 months;
    3.6 billion Iraqi dinars ($2.4 million USD) in shares were traded in the
    first day.

Highlights this

Iraqi counterparts are working closely
with USAID’s Iraq Economic Governance II (IEG II) program to increase
the capacity of the Iraqi electricity and telecommunications industries
to adopt international best practices and move towards commercial viability
and away from state subsidies.

Telecommunications – IEG II and
its Iraqi partners are opening the telecommunications sector to further
private sector involvement, while improving the government’s ability to
utilize up-to-date information technology (IT) in regulating the sector.
To that end, IEG II conducted a two-week government-wide IT workshop
in Amman, Jordan for thirty-seven government information officers, representing
all ministries. Workshops discussed the development of a Strategic
Information Technology Plan, an e-Government implementation plan and a
suitable organizational structure for a Government Information Technology
Department. IEG II also recently assisted the Iraqi Telephone and Post
Company in studying the costs and benefits of a new billing system and
discussed requirements to manage its implementation.

Electricity – Iraqi electricity
regulators are strengthening their ability to bill consumers appropriately.
IEG II is supporting this effort and recently conducted research
on electrical meters and meter manufacturers in Iraq to explore potential
for cooperation with regulators. Meanwhile, Jordanian electricity regulators
are cooperating with IEG II and Iraqi officials to provide useful models
for Iraqi counterparts and are further discussing potential for cross-border
generation and transmission connections.

Advisors from USAID’s Private Sector
Development Initiative (PSD II) are collaborating with Iraqi government
officials and private sector representatives on a range of activities to
develop the private sector and generate employment. Restructuring
of state-owned enterprises is a core component of this initiative as a
liberalized economy would encourage competition, investment, and overall
economic growth.

Recently, PSD II presented a concept
paper for an Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) to a group of 18 up-and-coming
Iraqi businesses. In the next weeks, PSD II will brief Iraqi ministries
on IPAs and draft an illustrative budget.

As part of the PSD II efforts in investment
marketing promotion, PSD II staff are continuing to track processing of
the Investment Opportunity Profiles through the Baghdad Chamber of Commerce
and the Iraqi League of Foodstuff Merchants. Of the 220,000 Chamber
members, the project anticipates profiling 200 additional investment opportunities,
mostly in the services sectors. Additionally, staff researched regional
investment promotion agency charters and regional investment promotion
laws to determine a competitive advantage for the IPA.


USAID’s goals are to work in conjunction
with Iraqi ministries, the private sector, and higher education institutions
to revitalize agricultural production, stimulate income and employment
generation, nurture rural initiatives, and rehabilitate the natural resource

Major Accomplishments to Date

  • Summer and Winter Crop Technology
    Demonstrations: These demonstrations are introducing farmers to new
    technologies and techniques through extension field days.

  • Animal Health: Several veterinary
    clinics in Kirkuk, Fallujah, and other cities are being renovated and a
    grant has been made for dipping tanks to improve sheep health and wool.

  • Technology Support: The Ministry
    of Agriculture and a major university’s schools of Agriculture and Veterinary
    Science have been awarded grants to furnish and equip computer centers,
    improving research capabilities and consulting capacity.

  • Date Palm Propagation: In collaboration
    with the Ministry of Agriculture, 40,000 elite date palm offshoots are
    being used to establish mother orchards in 13 governorates as part of a
    multiplication program and the establishment of a national register of
    elite varieties.

  • Agriculture Sector Transition Plan:
    This plan, completed in mid-April, addresses the short-term recovery
    of agricultural infrastructure as well as medium and long-term implementation
    of policies to develop a market-based agricultural economy.

this week

Technical specialists from USAID’s
Agriculture Reconstruction and Development Program for Iraq (ARDI) are
working with the sole distributor in Iraq of Case New Holland agricultural
machinery to survey the quantity and repair needs of inoperable Case New
Holland tractors and combines throughout the country. In the
past few decades, subsidies often led to tractors and combines being resold
cross-border and sanctions that led to parts shortages left many farmers
with no or inoperable farm machinery. This program is conducted with
the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) who has identified the repair of existing
farm machinery as a top priority.

With the support of the MOA and a local
engineering company, advertisements in local newspapers asked farmers to
register their equipment. The information will establish a baseline
for a national agriculture machinery rehabilitation program. ARDI
expects to receive an exact equipment count and status report in February.
Each application for assistance will then be assessed by an engineer
from the local sub-contractor and one from Case New Holland to determine
repair costs. Following the survey, ARDI will provide repair support within
the limitations of the program. ARDI is planning to bring two more
international agriculture equipment companies into the program to assist
farmers with equipment rehabilitation as the program moves forward.

ARDI has awarded 71 grants worth $4.28
million to support development and economic growth in the agriculture sector.
Since 2004, 5,809 full-time and temporary jobs have been created
in Iraq through this program which targets government and non-government
organizations to build national and local capacity, creating permanent
and temporary positions for economic security. To date, 465 women
and 889 men have received permanent employment and 440 women and 4,120
men have increased family income through temporary employment resulting
through ARDI grants.

Grants for high value agriculture development
and livestock development have generated the largest number of jobs. ARDI
gives special consideration to grant proposals that emphasize women’s
participation in agricultural development. Many women manage farms
on their own, often due to widowhood or the loss of male family members
from social conflict and war. The program complements similar programs
by the MOA. Agricultural priorities are set by the Iraqi government
and ARDI supports these priorities and policies via grants. For example,
ARDI and the MOA share the costs and the work of rehabilitating veterinary
clinics throughout Iraq, benefiting livestock producers.

Other important examples of ARDI grants
that support economic growth in the agricultural sector include financial
and technical assistance to the MOA to computerize the land registration
system and the Geographic Information System/Agricultural Ecological Zoning
project to improve land use throughout the country. The implementation
of these two nationwide projects has created 80 full-time, permanent jobs
throughout Iraq.


USAID’s goals are to increase enrollment,
improve the quality of primary and secondary education, ensure classrooms
have sufficient supplies, facilitate community involvement, train teachers,
implement accelerated learning programs, and establish partnerships between
U.S. and Iraqi colleges and universities.

Major Accomplishments to Date


  • Awarded 627 grants worth more than $6
    million to rehabilitate schools and equip Directorates General.

  • Rehabilitated 2,405 schools countrywide.


  • Distributed desks, chairs, cabinets,
    chalkboards, and kits for primary and secondary schools countrywide.

  • Printed and distributed 8.7 million
    revised math and science textbooks to grades 1-12 by mid-February 2004.


  • Completed a major initiative that trained
    nearly 33,000 secondary school teachers and administrators, including 860
    master trainers, nationwide.

  • Conducted a pilot accelerated learning
    program in five Iraqi cities to allow out-of-school children to complete
    two school years in one year. More than 550 students participated.

  • Assisted the Ministry in establishing
    official baseline education data for Iraq.


  • Awarded five grants worth $20.7 million
    to create partnerships between U.S. and Iraqi universities. Through these
    partnerships, Iraqi universities are rebuilding infrastructure; re-equipping
    university facilities; participating in international conferences; attending
    workshops and refresher courses; and reforming curriculum.

this week

The Essential Electronic Agricultural
Library (TEEAL) is now available for students and professors at a second
university in northern Iraq, thanks to support from USAID’s Higher Education
and Development (HEAD) Program. The TEEAL CD-ROM library contains
over 140 agriculture-related journals from 1993-2003, and will greatly
assist research and teaching at these universities.

This second library will directly benefit
more than 765 students and faculty, and will be made available to visitors
from other agricultural colleges. Through this library, agricultural departments
at all Iraq’s universities will have access to the most important papers
published in the agricultural sciences.

The TEEAL library installation is part
of a HEAD partnership between the University of Hawaii, Iraq’s Ministry
of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and two northern Iraqi universities.
The HEAD Agricultural Sciences partnership is helping Iraqi universities
revitalize academic programs and rehabilitate research infrastructure such
as critical online resources.

USAID is making progress in all four
areas of its legal education reform program, despite security concerns
affecting the participating universities. Operations continue utilizing
only Iraqi and Iraqi-American staff where possible.

Rule of Law – Three of five planned
Rule of Law seminars have been held to date (Iraqi Constitution and Constitutional
Law; Property Claims; Legal Ethics). Preparations for the fourth seminar
on the Iraqi Bar are in progress; the final seminar on Post-Conflict Justice
will be held after the Transitional Government is announced.

Curriculum Reform – Short-term
reform efforts focus on changes that can be implemented through the 15-20%
curriculum discretion given to law professors. Medium-term reform efforts
focus on finalizing recommendations to the National Curriculum Board.

Clinical Education – The partner
university in Baghdad completed its clinical education program, which included
moot court exercises, brief-writing competitions, courtroom visitations,
and other activities. Student evaluations were positive, in terms of interest
and utility of programming. The program in As Sulaymaniyah governorate
is continuing; four selected students (including three women) are preparing
for the prestigious Jessup international moot court competition. Also,
the program in Al Basrah governorate has been postponed due to security
concerns and is expected to resume in the spring.

Library and Technology Support – Shelving
has been installed in the library of the participating Baghdad university,
and the renovation of a lecture hall is nearly complete. A law library
in the As Sulaymaniyah university has also been restored. Meanwhile,
the renovation of facilities at the participating university in Al Basrah
governorate has been delayed, but is expected to begin in the spring.


USAID’s goals include supporting a reformed
Iraqi Ministry of Health, delivering essential health services, funding
vaccines and high protein biscuits for pregnant and nursing mothers and
malnourished children, providing basic primary health care equipment and
supplies, training and upgrading health staff, providing health education
and information, and identify the specific needs of the health sector and
of vulnerable populations such as women and children.

Major Accomplishments to Date

  • Vaccinated over 3 million children under
    five and 700,000 pregnant women with vaccination campaigns that included
    monthly immunization days.

  • Provided supplementary doses of vitamin
    A for more than 600,000 children under two and 1.5 million lactating mothers.

  • Provided iron folate supplements for
    over 1.6 million women of childbearing age.

  • Screened more than 1.3 million children
    under five for malnutrition.

  • Distributed high protein biscuits to
    more than 450,000 children and 200,000 pregnant and nursing mothers.

  • Provided potable water for 400,000 persons
    each day in Basrah city and 170,000 persons in Kirkuk and Mosul.

  • Provided skills training for 2,500 primary
    health care providers and 700 physicians.

  • Trained 2,000 health educators, teachers,
    religious leaders and youth to mobilize communities on hygiene, diarrhea,
    breastfeeding, nutrition and immunization issues.

  • Disseminated information on essential
    health messages to families around the country.

  • Renovated 110 primary health care centers.
  • Provided vaccines and cold chain equipment
    to selected health centers.

  • Developed a national plan for the fortification
    of wheat flour with iron and folic acid.

this week

The Ministry of Health Hospital Steering
Committee recently approved the final conceptual design and reviewed the
mechanical, electrical and plumbing designs for the planned Basrah Children’s

Site fill and preparation work is
now complete at the hospital construction site; 130,000 cubic meters
of fill were required to finish site preparation. Manufacture of
pilings to reinforce the site is scheduled to begin in February and the
contractor will conduct tests to ensure the site is capable of supporting
the hospital design. The process of driving 1,200 piles is expected
to take approximately 90 days. Additionally, a subcontract is being
awarded to construct a security wall around the site. A section of
the two and one half meter high concrete block wall will become part of
the permanent wall at the back of the hospital site. Although still
in the beginning stages, the hospital is currently scheduled to be completed
in March 2006.

The new children’s hospital will emphasize
services that will have the greatest impact on the health and welfare of
Iraqi children – providing inpatient and outpatient pediatric care. It
will also serve as a model pediatric facility and is designed to accommodate
the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) plans for future expansion.

This project includes furnishing all
labor, equipment, materials, security, housing, logistics, transport, and
other resources needed to plan and build the hospital. The building’s
design takes into account the structural and functional requirements for
conference rooms, offices, and student dormitories.


USAID’s goals in the Democracy and Governance
sector include promoting representative citizen participation in governance
at the national and sub-national level; supporting the administration of
transparent and credible electoral processes; strengthening the management
skills of national, city, and provincial administrations and civic institutions;
promoting advocacy and participation of civil society organizations; enhancing
leadership skills; and serving as a recruiting tool for future leaders.

Major Accomplishments to Date

  • Established regional offices in Al Basrah,
    Al Hillah, Baghdad, and Mosul and operations in all governorates.

  • Awarded $15.5 million in rapid-response
    grants in the first program year to strengthen the capacity of municipal
    authorities to deliver core municipal services. The grants were used to
    restore services in agriculture, education, health, electricity, sanitation,
    and water.

  • Facilitated the establishment and refreshment
    of 16 governorate councils, 90 district councils, 194 city or sub-district
    councils, and 445 neighborhood councils.

  • Organized and facilitated numerous selection
    processes for governors and mayors, as well as local council members, throughout

  • Committed more than $2.4 million for
    the nationwide Civic Education Campaign, which educates Iraqis on democracy
    and Iraq’s political situation. More than 28,500 democracy dialogues have
    been conducted to date.

  • Supported preparation of 2004 city council
    budgets in Baghdad, Mosul, Al Hillah, Babil, and An Najaf.

  • Supporting a series of National Agenda
    Dialogue Conferences, which engage stakeholders such as academics, journalists,
    women, tribal leaders, and local government officials in discussions on
    their roles in Iraq’s emerging democracy.

this week

The Local Governance Program’s (LGP)
Policy Research Team (PRT) held training sessions to prepare Iraqi staff
in Kirkuk and Arbil to conduct seminars for local officials on the Local
Government Association (LGA) Toolkit. The training will also prepare
local staff to perform assessments on the division of responsibilities
among all levels of government, and to analyze strategic planning and program
development at the local level.

LGP followed up with individual meetings
with local council members, managers of municipal departments, and assistants
to the Governor of Kirkuk and the Chairman of Kirkuk Governorate Council
on the use of the LGA Toolkit.

The Baghdad Mayoralty is receiving
assistance from Baghdad LGP staff and the U.S. Army’s First Cavalry Division
on the operation of nine solid waste transfer stations for a 3-4 month
period and the delivery of 16 transfer trailers. This equipment will
be distributed to Baghdad’s districts to transport municipal solid waste
to disposal sites, providing a much more efficient collection system. The
introduction of this service will help reduce the solid waste problem faced
by the 5.8 million residents of Baghdad.

LGP specialists visited a health center
in Diwaniyah to supervise its renovation as part of a $65,000 LGP grant.
When complete, the renovated center and new wing will serve 3,000
citizens in the area. The restoration is approximately 50 percent
complete. Specialists also visited a high school in Diwaniyah to supervise
its renovation as part of a $91,000 LGP project. When finished, the
refurbished high school will serve 700 students.

A seminar on Article 58 of the TAL
was held in As Sulaymaniya for 45 participants from six northern Iraqi
governorates. The seminar was sponsored by a USAID partner’s
project to mitigate electoral violence; participants were members of local
NGOs, representatives of academia and the media, lawyers, and two members
of the Iraqi Property Claims Commission.

Article 58 of the TAL addresses the issue
of normalization: the rectification of illegal population movement and
changes of property ownership under the previous regime. The seminar
gathered subject-matter experts, among others, who presented impartial
statements explaining the article in question and resulted in an agreement
on drafting a common statement, on outlining the advantages and disadvantages
of normalization steps and on holding a similar seminar in the future.


USAID’s Iraq Transition Initiative supports
the transition to a participatory, stable, and democratic country. ITI
provides quick-dispensing, high-impact grants meeting critical needs –
providing short-term employment, restoring basic government and community
services, increasing Iraqi access to information and communication, and
encouraging protection of human rights.

Major Accomplishments to Date

  • Awarded more than 2,653 small grants
    totaling more than $210 million for quick impact activities that support
    good governance, civil society, conflict management and mitigation, human
    rights and transitional justice.

  • Funded over 60 grants totaling $3 million
    that focus on women’s issues, including supporting the establishment of
    14 women’s centers in Iraq. Rehabilitated over 264 Iraqi national
    ministries, schools, clinics and other municipal buildings. Supporting
    65 Iraqi groups in documenting human rights abuses of the Ba’athist regime
    and promoting peace, tolerance, and reconciliation.

  • Met critical needs during and immediately
    after the conflict by providing short-term employment, restoring basic
    government and community services, increasing Iraqi access to information
    and communication and encouraging protection of human rights.

this week

Two local NGOs organized a conference
for approximately 100 northern Iraqi women through a grant from USAID’s
Iraq Transition Initiative (ITI). Conference activities focused on
advancing women’s participation in economic development, promoting women
as business owners and developing networks to support women in their efforts
to own and operate businesses.

Breakthrough projects such as support
to women’s advocacy organizations, business development centers and women’s
centers are helping to mitigate cultural barriers to women’s participation
in the economy. The two-day conference built on these initiatives,
giving women the opportunity to discuss issues affecting them and the economy.
Additional conference support was provided by two other USAID partner

Another ITI grant rehabilitated and
equipped the meeting hall and offices of a northern Iraqi local farmers’
union, and provided furniture. In order to resume activities
and decrease ethnic tension, union members elected administrative staff
representing all ethnic groups to manage the union. The assistance
of this grant will enable the farmers’ union to better serve their members
and the local farming community. ITI assistance has jumpstarted the
union’s interest in other activities, including its participation in USAID’s
Local Governance Program democracy dialogue activities.


Since the cessation of the 2003 conflict,
USAID has completed planned work at Umm Qasr Seaport and restored significant
portions of Iraq’s telecommunications network. USAID also helped
avert a humanitarian crisis during the conflict by providing assistance
to the United Nations’ World Food Program. USAID advisors continue
to assist with the management and distribution of food rations for all
Iraqi citizens.


  • USAID’s $45 million programs to rehabilitate
    and improve management at the port were completed in June 2004.

  • Port reopened to commercial traffic
    on June 17 2003; completed first passenger vessel test July 16.

  • Up to 50 ships offload at the port every

  • Completed dredging to open all 21 berths
    to deep-draft ships; maintenance dredging is ongoing.

  • Applied port tariffs on June 20, 2003.
  • Renovated the grain-receiving facility
    to process 600 MT of grain an hour.

  • Renovated the administration building,
    passenger terminal, customs hall, and electrical substations.


  • Audited more than 1,200of the fiber
    optic backbone network and performed emergency repairs, reconnecting 20
    cities and 70% of the population.

  • Reconstituted Baghdad area phone service
    by installing switches with 240,000 lines at 12 sites.

  • Installed 13 new switches, and fully
    integrated them with the 14 existing switches.

  • Ministry of Communications reactivated
    more than 215,000 subscriber lines.

  • Installed a satellite gateway system
    at Baghdad’s largest telecom exchange and restored international service.

  • Trained ITPC engineers and technicians
    in the operation and maintenance of the satellite gateway system and the
    new switches.


  • Worked directly with the World Food
    Program (WFP) and Coalition Forces to re-establish the Public Distribution
    System (PDS) in less than 30 days, avoiding a humanitarian food crisis
    and providing food security throughout the country.

  • With Iraqi food distributors, Food for
    Peace, the WFP, and Coalition Forces maintained deliveries from June through
    December 2003 in all 18 governorates.

  • Played a key role in an agreement between
    the WFP, CPA, and the MoT that provided the WFP with the resources and
    authority to continue to support the PDS through June 2004.

  • In partnership with the United States
    Embassy in Iraq, providing on-going support to the Public Distribution
    System Working Group to assist the Ministry of Trade with improving PDS

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