USAID fact sheet: Contingency plans for post-conflict reconstruction in Iraq

News and Press Release
Originally published
As part of the U.S. government's contingency planning for Iraq, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is prepared to mobilize significant development resources and technical assistance.

USAID assistance will:

  • Restore economically critical infrastructure;

  • Support essential health and education services;

  • Expand economic opportunities; and

  • Improve the efficiency and accountability of government.
Since January 31st eight contracting activities have been undertaken by USAID. One contract, which is for personnel support, was awarded to the International Resources Group, Ltd. on February 21st, and seven additional contracts are pending. Four of these requests for proposals (RFPs), dealing with seaport administration, airport administration, capital construction and theater logistical support, were issued on February 12th. In addition, a public health RFP was issued on March 3rd, and primary and secondary education and local governance RFPs were issued on March 4th. This is only a partial list of the reconstruction projects envisaged for Iraq, and does not include projects which may be undertaken by other U.S. agencies and departments and other governments.

These are contingency contracts which will only be implemented in the event that the work indicated is required. The urgent need for these contracts has prompted the U.S. government to follow specific guidelines which permit the agency to utilize an expedited procurement process. Only those companies that meet specific criteria are invited to apply. These criteria include: demonstrated technical capabilities; proven accounting mechanisms; ability to field a qualified technical team on short notice; and where applicable, clearance to handle classified information. It is anticipated that, given the size of the contracts, the companies awarded the contracts will utilize various sub-contractors in executing their obligations under the terms of the RFPs.

In addition, the U.S. government will continue to work through partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international relief agencies, and U.S. universities. USAID values the hands-on approach of these organizations' community development programs and expects to see a substantial NGO and international relief agency role in Iraq. Reconstruction efforts will also include contacts and partnerships between Iraqi and U.S. educational institutions.

Development and Reconstruction Priorities

Restoring Economically Critical Infrastructure: Reconstruction assistance will rehabilitate critical infrastructure to help maintain stability, ensure the delivery of essential services, and facilitate economic recovery. Iraq's roads and ports will be rehabilitated to meet the needs of citizens and facilitate transportation of humanitarian assistance, as well as commercial imports and exports. Potable water and sanitation services will be reestablished to prevent disease. Assistance also will restore the power supply to health and educational facilities, water supply facilities, and infrastructure that contribute to the local economy and employment generation.

Supporting Essential Health and Education Services: Assistance will restore basic healthcare services to vulnerable populations and focus on strengthening the national education system. Programming will include the delivery of essential drugs, equipment, and supplies to health facilities, and will assist in health and disease assessment. Health assistance also will supply health information and education to the public, build the management capacity of Iraqi counterparts, and promote fair and open access to health services. Education assistance will increase access to primary and secondary public education for Iraqi children, promote retention of students in the classroom, strengthen school administration, and develop re-entry programs for out-of-school youth.

Expanding Economic Opportunity: Reconstruction assistance will promote a competitive private sector, generate employment opportunities, and improve agricultural productivity. Activities will include extending credit to small and micro-enterprise businesses; developing local, regional and international business networks; and providing workforce development and training. Agricultural assistance will supply agricultural inputs for the spring and winter planting season, address livestock and poultry diseases and farmers will be trained to use modern agricultural technologies to enhance profitability and competitiveness.

Improving Efficiency and Accountability of Government: Reconstruction assistance will foster social and political stability by helping meet citizens' basic needs within their communities. Programming will provide Iraqis with the opportunity to participate in public decision-making. Technical assistance will strengthen the capacities of local administrations to manage and deliver services such as potable water, education, and healthcare. Programming will be structured to support the development of local and national nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations. Technical assistance will also support the preparation and implementation of an appropriate legal framework for decentralized government.

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