Baghdad, September 20, 2017- The World Bank Group (WBG) has concluded today a series of consultations with various stakeholder groups around its forthcoming Iraq Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for the period 2018-2022 which lays out the main country development goals that the WBG aims to help Iraq achieve, and proposes a program of strategic interventions for this purpose.
The consultations, which started on September 16, comprised of several sessions with government officials, members of the council of representatives, private sector representatives, civil society organizations, academia, international partners. The consultations demonstrated a high level of interest and engagement of the Iraqi public at large vis a vis issues relating to the future of Iraq, the challenges the country is facing and the development opportunities at stake.
These face-to-face sessions were preceded by a first phase of online consultations on social media channels (September 7 to 13). Online consultations allowed the WBG to reach almost one million Iraqis from various audiences and constituents across the country, including from Mosul and other liberated areas. The number of responses to the online polls reached over 200,000 comments. It is also worthwhile noting the particularly active engagement of youth and women, which registered the highest rates of comments to the different questions of the poll.
The discussions and comments collected during these consultations will feed into the review of the final CPF document to be presented to the WBG’s Board of Directors for endorsement later this year.
The CPF under preparation builds on the Government of Iraq’s development plan for the country and is in line with its reconstruction and recovery program. It draws on the findings of the World Bank Group’s Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) for Iraq which identified three priorities going forward to end poverty and boost shared prosperity: (i) reestablishing security; (ii) rebuilding the social contract and state legitimacy; and (iii) managing oil wealth equitably and sustainably.
In line with the SCD priorities, the CPF will overall aim to help the Government of Iraq capitalize on the liberation of ISIS-held areas and the slow recovery in oil prices to reinstate trust with its citizens namely by implementing critical economic and governance reforms, providing basic services efficiently and equitably and ensuring inclusive and sustainable recovery and reconstruction efforts. The WBG will seek to support the Iraqi government in the design and implementation of response mechanisms that are grounded in rigorous economic analysis, mobilization of best practices in recovery and reconstruction planning, and leveraging of sustained international support.
“Despite the massive destruction caused by the recent conflict, with the retaking of Mosul, Iraq has a unique opportunity to rise again. Much work lies ahead. It is imperative on the Iraqis to seize on it to press ahead for a better future for all Iraqi people. The World Bank Group, through its Country Partnership Framework for Iraq, stands ready to support Iraq in its long march towards reconstruction and long term development that benefits everyone”, said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Director.
The reinstatement of trust between the state and its citizens is highly dependent on the Government of Iraq demonstrating its capacity to deliver security, jobs and economic growth to all Iraqis, with a focus on the poor, the vulnerable, the millions of internally displaced people impacted by the war and their host communities.
Speaking on the sidelines of one of the consultation sessions, Dr. Maher Johan, Acting Deputy Minister of Finance said: “Everybody has an important role to play in the reconstruction process of Iraq at the economic, social and infrastructure levels. The World Bank is a key partner of the Government of Iraq in its efforts to alleviate poverty and its engagement is in full harmony with the Government development vision and the work of other international organizations.”