The Kurdistan Regional Government have officially launched a special hotline to receive complaints about corruption and wrongdoings committed by national and state institutions and officials. It is being led by the Kurdistan Region of Iraq's Commission of Integrity, an independent government body responsible for fighting corruption.
The hotline was launched at an event in Erbil today ahead of International Anti-Corruption Day, commemorated on 9 December every year. The hotline encourages individuals to report corruption incidents anonymously by calling the toll-free number 1015.
The complaints will be recorded, assessed and depending on their nature either investigated, referred to other agencies or archived. The Commission will further report annually to the Parliament and the public on the hotline's performance.
The hotline was established with support from UNDP and the European Union. The support included developing the reporting and complaint tracking system, training designated staff and public communications about the hotline.
This further ties into a longstanding partnership between the Kurdistan Region of Iraq's (KRI) Commission of Integrity and UNDP to strengthen legislative and strategic anti-corruption frameworks and to improve its investigative capacity in line with international principles and standards.
"The launch of this hotline is a sign of the continued commitment of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq's Commission of Integrity to deliver on Iraq's own regional and international commitments and respond to the clear expectations of Iraqi citizens. We thank UNDP for its support and cooperation in strengthening our anti-corruption frameworks and improving our capacities," says Dr Ahmed Anwar, the Chairman of the KRI Commission of Integrity.
"Corruption undermines building strong, accountable, and effective institutions, and most importantly, affects public trust. Therefore, involving Iraqi citizens can help hold accountable those responsible for corruption crimes and enhance the responsiveness of public institutions. The hotline is a bold step towards improving citizen reporting by creating a climate of support for anti-corruption reforms, fostering public trust in state institutions and increasing public accountability," says Auke Lootsma, Resident Representative, UNDP Iraq.
"We are incredibly grateful to our longstanding partner, the EU, for its enduring commitment to supporting one of the most complex and challenging undertakings in Iraq, and to our partners across the Iraqi and Kurdish Region state institutions for entrusting UNDP to lead this effort," he adds.
In addition, the event also included an art competition and cultural performance by young people, showcasing their creativity and desire for an Iraq and Kurdistan Region free of corruption. It included a stunning exhibition of art expressing young people's perspective on the impact of corruption on Iraq's development and recovery from years of instability and conflict.