USAID: Iraq Reconstruction and Humanitarian Relief Weekly Update #6 (FY 2005)

Report
from US Agency for International Development
Published on 12 Nov 2004


This report highlights overall accomplishments and weekly activities from USAID's reconstruction efforts in Iraq. For more information please visit www.usaid.gov/iraq.

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. The USAID mission in Iraq carries out programs in education, health care, food security, infrastructure reconstruction, airport management, economic growth, community development, democracy and governance, and transition initiatives.

Electricity

USAID's goals include the emergency repair or rehabilitation of power generation facilities and electrical grids. Teams of engineers from the Ministry of Electricity, USAID, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been working since May of 2003 to restore capacity to Iraq's power system.

  • After setting post-conflict record electricity production levels in August, 2004, the Ministry of Electricity, with assistance from USAID, began to remove generating units from service to perform maintenance. For generating capacity to perform at normal levels of availability and efficiency, it is critical that maintenance be preformed on an annual basis. Without this maintenance program, the units will not be available to perform satisfactorily during the peak demand summer periods. It is common practice in all electrical systems for units to be removed from service for periods up to four to six weeks every year. In Iraq, with the generating units still recovering from years of neglected maintenance, these periods of maintenance are particularly critical.

    - In Iraq, there are two periods which are suitable for unit maintenance; generally these periods are in the Fall between October 1 and December 15 and in the Spring between February 15 and May 1. The graph below shows how the available capacity in Iraq has decreased reflecting in part generating capacity removed for the Annual Fall Maintenance Program.



Major Accomplishments to Date
  • By October, 2003, rehabilitated electric power capacity to produce peak capacity greater than the prewar level of 4,400 MW. Now producing daily peaks in excess of 5,000 MW. Hit 5,365 MW on August 18, 2004.

  • Since achieving record power production in Summer '04, the Ministry of Electricity —with assistance from USAID—has begun the standard Fall maintenance process which will necessarily reduce the amount of power available for consumption. USAID worked with the MOE to conduct last Fall's maintenance program.

  • Repairing thermal units, replacing turbines, rehabilitating the power distribution network, and installing and restoring generators.

  • USAID has added 435 MW of capacity through maintenance and rehabilitation work, and also repaired a 400 KV transmission line.

  • USAID and the Ministry of Electricity are working with partners to add a total of more than 1,281 MW to the national grid by December 2005 through maintenance, rehabilitation, and new generation projects.

  • USAID completed a project to convert two units that produce 80 MW each to operate on crude/heavy fuel oil instead of diesel which is imported and in short supply.

  • Most recently, USAID has initiated a project to rehabilitate 13 existing substations and construct 24 new substations in Baghdad. These 37 substations will improve the distribution and reliability of electricity for more than two million Baghdad residents.

Water and Sanitation

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 lift stations and treatment units.

  • Baghdad: Expanding one water treatment plant to increase capacity by approximately 50 million gallons per day and rehabilitating sewage treatment plants.

    - A major wastewater treatment plant in Baghdad began partial operation 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: Rehabilitating parts of the Sweet Water Canal system, including repairing breaches, cleaning the main reservoir, and refurbishing 14 water treatment plants around Basrah serving 1.75 million people.

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

    - Sewage plants in An Najaf, Al Qadisiyah, Karbala', and Babil Governorates will serve 440,000.

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

  • North: Rehabilitating two water plants and one sewage plant near Mosul and Kirkuk.

Highlights this week:
  • Work is moving forward on USAID's rural water initiative. Since construction began last month, work has been conducted on 21 wells in rural areas of Diyala' and Salah ad Din Governorates. Eighteen of the 21 have been drilled and six of those have been fully developed. The wells will bring water to rural communities with populations of 1,000 to 5,000. Engineers and project implementers are also preparing to expand the initiative to other regions of the country.

    - Currently, there are approximately 4 million Iraqis living in regions where water is scarce or non-existent. 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 mid-sized communities with populations above 1,000 but below 5,000 are underserved. The rural water initiative will install approximately 150 wells in 300 rural communities. The project is scheduled for completion in all 17 governorates by August 2005 and is expected to benefit a total of 750,000 individuals.

  • Expansion of a water treatment plant in Baghdad is continuing and is scheduled for completion during the first part of 2005. Recently, a tie-in from the reservoir to the filter has been completed and backfilled, sludge pump station discharge piping has been installed, and backfilling has begun. Additionally, an emergency generator has been moved into the generator building and a medium voltage distribution board for the emergency generator has been installed. The control station for the pump house has also been installed.

    - The plant is one of two main water treatment plants that serve 4.7 million Baghdad residents. Current production at the plant is estimated at 135 million gallons per day. However, there is still a shortage in the city, mostly affecting the poorer, eastern part of Baghdad including the Thawra neighborhood, formerly called Sadr City. Work at the plant will increase potable water flow to east Baghdad by 45 percent, benefiting 2.5 million people. The expansion will add approximately 50 million gallons per day to the water supply. This project currently employs 277 Iraqis.


Airports

USAID's goal is to provide material and personnel for the repair of airport facilities, rehabilitate airport terminals, facilitate humanitarian and commercial flights, and assist the Iraqi Airport Commission Authority.

  • Work is now approximately 32% complete on the rehabilitation of Baghdad International Airport's (BIAP) electrical substation #1 which is the control point for airstrip lighting on the commercial side of BIAP. Along with this work, a 500 kw emergency generator is being supplied to ensure airstrip lighting is functional. Recent work has included installation of the emergency generator and its control panel.

    - USAID's work at Baghdad International Airport began in May 2003. Initial work focused on emergency repairs, such as the installation of a 5MW generator, to allow the immediate re-opening of the airport by July 2003. USAID also repaired the airport terminal and administration offices; installed communication systems; rehabilitated the customs offices; and repaired passenger support facilities. All work at the airport is expected to be complete by the end of December 2004.


Major Accomplishments to Date
  • Flights have been arriving and departing Baghdad International Airport since July 2003. BIAP is processing an average of 45 nonmilitary arrivals and departures daily.

  • Completed emergency infrastructure work at BIAP for civil air operations, including repairing Terminal C and administration offices and installing VSAT communications systems and adding power generators.

  • Completed work to prepare Al Basrah International Airport for commercial operations, including installing VSAT and radio communications; runway, taxiway, and apron striping; and installing baggage x-ray units and a perimeter fence. Work to rehabilitate the water and wastewater treatment facilities are almost complete.

Marshlands

In the 1990s, Iraq's marshlands—one of the world's largest wetland ecosystems—were destroyed. Marshes were drained, biodiversity was compromised, and the local population was displaced. USAID's $4 million initiative works with local residents in support of marshland restoration and the social and economic development of marsh communities.

Major Accomplishments to Date

  • Marshland restoration activities have included surveys, pilot sites, flow and marsh hydrology modeling, and infrastructure needs assessments.

  • Produced a technical assessment in June 2003 in collaboration with the Ministry of Water Resources and the a major university.

  • Implementing a strategy for marsh restoration, which includes ecosystem monitoring, wetland reconstruction, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, agribusiness, fishing and aquaculture, livestock and dairy production, and primary healthcare.

  • Improving capacity through laboratory and GIS development, study tours, training, and formulation of a strategy for international donor assistance and participation.

Agriculture

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 base.

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.

Highlights this week:
  • Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) officials and USAID's Agriculture Reconstruction and Development Program for Iraq (ARDI) are continuing implementation of a national wheat production campaign. Although wheat is the most important crop in the country, and is grown by a majority of farmers, Iraq imports large volumes of wheat yearly. Total imports reach three million tons yearly, mostly from Australia, which is distributed to Iraqis as part of their food rations. The campaign aims to reduce imports through more efficient domestic production and to increase employment and incomes for farmers.

    - Under the campaign, 1,500 tons of wheat seed has arrived in Mosul. ARDI procured the seed to assist the MOA to distribute high quality, certified seed to as many farmers as possible. A total of 4000 tons will be delivered soon.

    - ARDI and MOA officials in Arbil, Dahuk and As Sulaymaniyah have also agreed to include wheat extension demonstrations as part of the 2004-2005 campaign. ARDI will work with extension departments in each governorate to establish 48 demonstration sites. The purpose of the wheat extension demonstrations is to show the advantages of application of proper amounts of fertilizer, the use of seed drills, good seed, and application of herbicides.

  • At the request of the MOA and ARDI, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) has supplied wheat germplasm to restart a maize breeding program in Iraq. The program is managed by the Crop Sciences Department of the State Board for Agricultural Research (SBAR). MOA/ARDI also procured several barley varieties for the SBAR breeding program. The germplasm will help revitalize wheat and barley production in Iraq.

  • The MOA and ARDI hosted a field day in southern Iraq to discuss with farmers a package of new varieties of rice, fertilizers, and herbicides and their advantages over traditional growing practices. More than 100 farmers, MOA staff, and staff from a nearby university participated in the field day. The field day was an excellent forum for farmers to provide feedback to MOA extension and research personnel on the demonstration and the applicability of the technology package on average farms.

Economic Governance

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 governmentwide 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 week:
  • Iraqi government officials and private sector representatives will work closely with USAID and its partners under the new Private Sector Development Initiative II (PSD II) to promote employment generation and private sector growth including the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME). PSD II will help build a flourishing private sector by establishing regulations and licensing procedures that help to improve fair business practices and pave the way for increased flows of foreign investment and by ensuring that growth and opportunities are extended to segments of Iraq's population that have historically had limited access to economic resources.

    - PSD II activities include:


    - Restructuring and privatization

    - Investment promotion

    - Trade policy and market access

    - Development of business management skills

    - Capital markets development

    - Small and medium business lending

    - The Development of the Microfinance Industry

    - MSME-focused policy and legal reform

  • USAID's Local Governance Program (LGP) staff in northern Iraq, in conjunction with USAID's partner, the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA), completed a two-day management training course for 18 staff members from regional business centers in northern Iraq. The course focused on improving conditions for small and medium-sized businesses, preparing them to compete nationally, regionally, and globally. Training focused on marketing plan development, basic business center management, the basics of accessing capital, and human resources.

    - The information provided during the courses gave the participants a more practical look at what is currently needed to sustain their business centers and allowed them to examine realistic ideas and objectives in their mission to promote economic development, job creation, and income generation for citizens throughout northern Iraq.


Education

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

Facilities

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

  • Rehabilitated 2,405 schools countrywide.

Supplies
  • 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.

Institutional Strengthening
  • 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-ofschool 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.

Higher Education
  • 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.

Highlights this week:
  • Fourteen faculty members from the agricultural department of a northern Iraqi university completed a one month, intensive English program, with the support of the University of Hawaii through USAID's Higher Education and Development (HEAD) program. English skills will allow the academics to participate in seminars and conferences to better connect their work to the international community. English training will also facilitate access to the most up-to-date, internationally available technical information necessary for their research and teaching efforts.

  • Three Iraqi university law schools partnered with DePaul University in the U.S. to draft plans for the establishment of legal research centers. Following initial studies, it was determined that a university in Northern Iraq was the best site for a research center in the near term. The first research center was established in September, and was provided with legal texts, computers with internet access for legal research, and other equipment. The activity was supported by USAID's HEAD program.

    - The center has already hosted a training workshop on ¡°Ethics in the Legal Profession and its Effect on the Rule of Law¡± that was attended by 58 recent law graduates, faculty members, judges, and scholars. Through future seminars and research activities, it is anticipated the center will advance understanding of rule of law concepts in the legal community in As Sulaymaniyah Governorate.

  • Eighteen faculty members from colleges of agriculture at northern Iraqi universities are embarking on a study tour with the sponsorship of the University of Hawaii under the HEAD program. The study tour will provide opportunities for the faculty members to undertake short-term ¡°retooling¡± leaves at the University of Hawaii, University of Jordan and other educational and research institutions where they will upgrade their knowledge and skills through intensive activities in collaboration with peers. The tour will benefit the professional and scientific development of the faculty members and, consequently, the participating university.

  • A nine-kilometer fiber-optic network has been completed at a northern Iraqi university, with the support of Jackson State University under USAID's HEAD program. The network provides internet and intranet access in several buildings on campus. Preparations are underway for implementing Phase II of the project, which will install networking equipment beyond the fiber-optic infrastructure, and train four university engineers to maintain the network. This project - which will benefit nearly 30,000 staff members, undergraduate students and postgraduate students - supports the goal of recovery, retooling, and revitalizing the Iraqi university. The objective is to re-establish the institutional viability of the university through expansion of internet access.

Health

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.

Highlights this week:
  • After being forced to suspend activities due to security concerns, work has resumed in recent weeks on equipping primary health care centers throughout Iraq through USAID's Health Systems Strengthening Program. Recently, 52 health care centers in At Tamim, As Sulaymaniya, and Arbil Governorates received primary health care kits. The kits contain approximately 60 items of basic medical equipment, office furniture, and laboratory equipment for improved provision of essential health services. So far, 383 kits out of a target of 600 have been delivered to care centers across Iraq.

  • Representatives of four Iraqi universities attended a one-week workshop on child nutrition in Amman, Jordan. The workshop was designed to address the child nutrition issues identified as most critical by the World Health Organization. These issues include protein-energy malnutrition and deficiencies of vitamin A, iodine, iron and zinc. At the request of the participants, sessions on vitamin D, folic acid and selenium were also added to the program.

    - Participants included seven pediatricians, one biochemist, and two community health faculty members - all from their respective Colleges of Medicine. At the suggestion of UNICEF, key scientists from Iraq's national Nutrition Research Institute (NRI) were also invited. Participants in the workshop brought data about community health programs in Iraq and about research they had conducted during the past few years. Participants identified health problems affecting Iraqi children, including goiter, anemia and rickets.

  • Crews are preparing the ground for a new pediatric teaching hospital in Basrah. The hospital will provide health care facilities for inpatient and outpatient pediatric care. The plans call for the children's hospital to include approximately 50 patient beds, facilities for the training of medical personnel, facilities for outpatient and inpatient surgeries, outpatient clinics, major diagnostic modalities, provisions for future expansions and programs.

    - The children's hospital project is being implemented through a public-private partnership between USAID and Project HOPE, an international NGO. Project HOPE is providing medical equipment and staff training. Work on the site is still in the early stages, with a projected completion date by the end of next year. Construction activities will commence early next year. The project currently employs 24 Iraq workers.


Local Governance

USAID's Local Governance Program (LGP) goals include promoting representative citizen participation in governance; strengthening the management skills of 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 or refreshment of 16 governorate councils, 90 district councils, 194 city or sub-district councils, and 445 neighborhood councils.

  • Organized and carried out numerous selection processes for governors and mayors, as well as local council elections, throughout Iraq.

  • Committed more than $2.4 million for the nationwide Civic Education Campaign, which educated Iraqis on democracy and Iraq's political situation. Rehabilitated and refurbished government facilities.

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

  • More than 26,400 democracy dialogues have been conducted to date.

  • 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 democracy.

Highlights this Week:
  • Local Governance Program (LGP) staff in Iraq's southern region conducted a workshop on the Principles of Fiscal and Administrative Decentralization for eight members of the Basrah Governorate Council. The Council requested the workshop to learn more about decentralization as they develop strategies for devolution and equitable revenue sharing between the governorates and the federal government. Decentralization will contribute to enhancing political participation and strengthening home rule for local services.

  • LGP conducted technical training in the south central region on service delivery improvement for a variety of Babil departments responsible for the delivery of essential services such as roads, water, sewage, and physical planning. Training focused on preparation of infrastructure projects that can be utilized for development planning and sound project management practices that enable departments to operate more efficiently.

  • The LGP team in Baghdad provided the Ba'qubah Water Directorate with laboratory equipment to test and assess water quality in 28 major water treatment facilities throughout Diyala governorate. Restoration of basic public services has been a key component of LGP activities in the area. The direct beneficiaries of these activities include the entire population of Diyala governorate: 1,224,000 residents.

  • LGP staff in Salah Ad Din Governorate held eight Civic Dialogue Program conferences over the past week. Iraqi facilitators prepared, organized, invited speakers, and included community leaders to participate in discussions and facilitate dialogue. The conferences focused on a variety of themes including conflict resolution, Islam and democracy. Between 75-250 people typically attended the conferences.

Humanitarian Assistance

Transition Initiative

USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) supports the transition to a participatory, stable, and democratic country. OTI 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 2,019 small grants totaling more than $151.3 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 shortterm employment, restoring basic government and community services, increasing Iraqi access to information and communication and encouraging protection of human rights.

  • Rehabilitated 105 water treatment units and 396 kilometers of water networks to ensure the provision of potable water in critical areas.

  • Rehabilitated 72 health facilities and re-equipped 238 to improve the quality of health care.

  • Vaccinated over 3,000 women and children against measles.

  • Registered internally displaced persons and provided them with water, blankets, medical kits, and hygiene kits.

  • Rehabilitated a water treatment plant in a poor area of Baghdad. The rehab is benefiting 1 million residents.

Highlights this week:
  • Farmers from an ethnically diverse and conflict-prone region of Iraq recently attended a four-day workshop to discuss critical issues of the political and economic transition. Under the “Arabization” policy of the former regime, minorities from this agriculturally rich region were moved off their land and Arabs from other regions settled in their place. Now, the original owners are taking steps to reclaim their property. The workshop focused on educating farmers about their rights and gave them an opportunity to express their opinions and voice their concerns.

Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance

In the first year of programming, USAID's humanitarian assistance focused on emergency interventions to prevent food and water shortages and provide adequate shelter and medical supplies throughout Iraq. USAID is now directing humanitarian assistance efforts through the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) to specifically target Iraq's internally displaced people (IDP), primarily in northern Iraq, but also in two southern governorates.

Completed Activities

Since the cessation of the 2003 conflict, USAID has completed planned work at Umm Qasr Seaport and to restore 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 through USAID's Office of Food for Peace. USAID advisors continue to assist with the management and distribution of food rations for all Iraqi citizens.

Seaport:

  • 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 month.

  • 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.

Telecommunications:
  • Audited more than 1,200 km of 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.

Food Security:
  • 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 management.

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