Iraq: Plan 2009-2010 (MAAIQ002)


Executive summary

It has been forecasted by various sources that the political situation in Iraq is to remain highly unstable throughout the period of 2009-2010. Violence among Iraq's various communities will persist and fluctuate, as the struggle for power becomes more fragmented.

Although the number of casualties has reduced from 80 per day in early 2008 to around 20 in June, the security has again sharply deteriorated in the last week of July. The explosions in Kirkuk and Baghdad proved that whenever the security situation is marked as improved, different insurgent groups target civilians to prove that the situation is far from what can be characterized as good and secure.

Lately, the frequent mention of a possible American military withdrawal from Iraq has not improved the security situation in Iraq since some of the different stakeholders view this future development from different angles. The political situation is becoming more complicated since the provincial elections are unlikely to take place this year. The government of Iraq is trying to re-establish its presence all over the territory and take over the control of the security.

Road travels in all areas are still deemed extremely unsafe under current threat conditions for foreigners. All roads remain very dangerous for Iraqis as well, in particular in areas where there is no official or de facto authority in charge of securing the roads. Kidnapping of civilians is likely to continue as a way to gain easy money through ransom requested from their families.

Economic policymaking will be constrained by the weakness of a central government control. As a result, the government's primary aim will be to improve the implementation of the rehabilitation project, in part by encouraging greater local participation and cutting bureaucratic constraints.

Iraq's fiscal account will be supported by historically high oil prices and lower than budgeted government capital spending over the outlook period. It has been expected that the overall revenue will surge by close to 50 per cent in 2008, as increases in oil production are augmented by a strong pick-up in oil prices, although revenue expansion is expected to slow sharply in 2009, as oil prices stabilize.

Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to strengthen steadily over 2009-2010, boosted by increasing oil production and a slow recovery in the services sector. A measure of recovery is likely in some of Iraq's more ethnically and religiously homogenous southern and western provinces, leading to increased investment, including from Iraq's neighbors, and greater wholesale and retail activity.

After four years of destructive conflict and 15 years of economic hardship, living conditions for millions of Iraqis are in a dangerous decline3. Vulnerabilities, deprivation and serious human rights abuses are widespread. Rule of law is absent in many communities, violence has contributed to at least one in every eight deaths and at least 60 per cent of Iraqis do not have access to one or more essential social services.

In order to enhance the Iraqi Red Crescent (Iraqi RC) to deliver critical humanitarian services to the most vulnerable in all parts of the country under the current extreme circumstances, and through its effective branch structures along with dedicated staff and volunteer base, the International Federation has been intensively planning activities for 2009-2010. Based on the situation of the National Society, this two-year plan will focus on organizational development and capacity building programmes. In terms of institutional development, focus will be given to leadership and branch development, governance and management, the National Society's self assessment and assessment of the humanitarian context of governorates in Iraq. In addition, special attention will be paid to development of financial systems/procedures, the establishment of a computerized accounting system based on international standards and an enhanced monitoring and evaluation system. In the meantime, trainings in planning and management, writing and reporting, and youth and volunteering, will be conducted.

In the disaster response area, the International Federation will support wheelchairs for 5,000 disabled people (each year) in need of assistance. The creation of national intervention teams (NITs) for disaster response is an additional priority programme area.

The total 2009-2010 budget is CHF 7,604,803 (USD 6,951,374 or EUR 4,843,824).