UNESCO, EU Launch Groundwater Project

In the framework of their significant efforts towards supporting the Iraqi government in overcoming the devastating impact of water shortage, UNESCO and the European Union (EU) launched the phase II of the "Advanced Survey of Hydrogeological Resources in Iraq" (ASHRI-2), a pioneering initiative that aims to improve national capacities in the exploration and integrated management of groundwater resources, and enhance both, efficiency and effectiveness of public planning and policy making in the National Water Sector.

After several months of technical and operation consultations, UNESCO and EU representatives met with Iraqi officials in Baghdad today, October 28 2013, to announce the official launch of the diversified activities which will be implemented in the framework of this new programme.

The programme lasting for the coming 30 months, will be undertaken by UNESCO Iraq Office with the main collaboration of the Ministry of Water Resources in Baghdad, the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources in the Kurdistan Regional Government, in addition to other relevant line-ministries, namely the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Planning.

"We are proud that we did not stop at Phase I of this project, and that we proceed towards establishing a real, solid, and scientific base for a comprehensive management system for underwater resources in Iraq", said Director General of the state bureau for ground water at the Ministry of Water Resources Mr. Dhafer Abdullah Hussain.

"All this would not have been possible without the stakeholders' realistic understanding of the magnitude of the problems and challenges in this project", he added as he praised the positive involvement of the EU and UNESCO in implementing this key initiative.

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