JICA (Japan) and UNDP Partnership Reinforcement Agreement to Accelerate Economic Recovery in Iraq
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and UNDP announced a reinforcement agreement to strengthen their partnership and accelerate the implementation of infrastructure and economic development projects in Iraq to improve the economic recovery and living condition of Iraqi people in key sectors such as electricity, water and sanitation, oil, irrigation, transportation, industry, health and communication.
On 16th February 2014, JICA and the Government of Iraq signed a new loan agreement to recover the functions of the Iraqi port system by rehabilitation works in Khor Al-Zubayr Port following the support to Um Qasr Port. With this, 20 projects under Japanese ODA Loan with a total value of US$ 4.4 billion are implemented by Iraqi ministries. Most of the on-going 19 projects are now in their implementation phase and have started to deliver improved public service to the Iraqi people.
Under this partnership, UNDP has been working alongside JICA and the Government of Iraq (GoI) on project monitoring and capacity development. UNDP identifies bottlenecks, providing analyses and recommendations for action on cross-cutting issues to the Monitoring Committees in order to accelerate the projects’ implementation in an accountable, transparent, and efficient matter.
The data collected over the last four years show significant improvements in the management skills of implementing ministries in line with international business standards whereby the duration of some procurement process is shortened by 60%.
“Since 2009, JICA has been literally in close partnership with UNDP in Iraq. With extensive networks of UNDP National Staff members and their day-to-day monitoring of the project implementation, we have been able to grasp the field realities of the projects and jointly tackle emerging issues” said Mr. Shohei HARA, Chief Representative of JICA in Iraq. “JICA is aiming to support the GoI through our lending programmes, not only to develop tangible infrastructural projects that will have national impacts but also to develop the capacities of officials in Iraq and the GoI itself on project management.