Washington, October 31, 2017- The World Bank approved a US$400 million financial assistance package today to support the recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation of priority infrastructure to restore delivery of public services in areas of Iraq newly liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The package represents an additional financing to the Iraq Emergency Operation for Development Project (US$350 million), approved back in July 2015 and already underway in seven cities in Diyala and Salah Ad-Din governorates.
The additional financing will allow the geographic scale-up of existing project activities to additional cities liberated from ISIS in the Salah Ad-Din and Diyala governorates, as well as in the governorates of Anbar (including Ramadi), Kirkuk, Ninawah (including Mosul) and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG’s) governorate of Dohuk. Similarly, implementation responsibilities will also expand to subnational governments in addition to the central government institutions.
"The international community has expressed its commitment to support the urgent need for the Government-led reconstruction of Mosul and other recently liberated cities. The World Bank is committed to working with Iraqi authorities to ensure that this much-needed reconstruction takes place in a sustainable, inclusive and equitable manner to foster long term development and create opportunities for everyone," said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Director.
The current project activities span over five primary sectors: water and sanitation, electricity, health, transport and municipal services. The additional financing will continue to support these sectors, as well as address pressing education, agriculture/irrigation and urban service delivery needs of communities in liberated areas. It will also support the restoration and preservation of key cultural heritage assets especially in the Old City of Mosul. But beyond the physical repair, emphasis will be given to improving the quality of education for boys and girls, and increasing the employment of women, youth as well as the poor in both urban and rural areas.
The additional financing will also support the Government of Iraq in attracting private sector participation in reconstruction efforts. To this effect, studies will be carried out to assess the feasibility of public private partnerships in the reconstruction, operation and maintenance of Mosul airport, which was severely damaged during the liberation of Mosul. Similar efforts will also extend to restoring public transport terminals that serve intercity transport, and reconstruction of key segments of the railway network.
“The Emergency Operation for Development Project has restored the access of 2 million people to drinking water, improved sanitation and electricity connectivity, and reconnected 2.5 million people through reconstructing transport infrastructure. This reconstruction process has created thousands of employment opportunities for Iraqi people," said Ibrahim Dajani, World Bank Program Leader for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Mashreq Department and Coordinator of the Iraq Reconstruction Program. “Over 100 water tankers, garbage collection trucks and other municipal services equipment have been supplied. An equal number of electricity generators and transformers have also been delivered and installed. So far, 11 bridges have been reconstructed, with 13 more under implementation, and over 200 kilometers of key road links have been repaired.”
The Emergency Operation for Development has created opportunities for collaboration with development partners which will complement the objectives of the additional financing operation. In addition to United Nations agencies, these partners include several governments that have committed to making financial contributions, including government of Germany and Kuwait, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
In order to promote an inclusive approach in the reconstruction process, the additional financing project will strengthen its focus on citizen engagement mechanisms. These will encourage community participation and enhance ownership of subprojects by beneficiaries and communities. The project will also establish a transparent and accountable reconstruction monitoring framework that will improve the availability of timely and comprehensive information that is useful to the public to actively participate in the national efforts towards reconstruction and development.
The additional financing operation is aligned with the priorities of the World Bank Group’s engagement in Iraq and the Government’s plan to capitalize on the liberation of ISIS-held areas and the slow recovery in oil prices to reinstate trust with the citizens, namely by implementing critical economic and governance reforms, providing basic services efficiently and equitably and ensuring inclusive and sustainable recovery and reconstruction efforts.