By Dr. Layth Mahdi. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
The Prime Minister's Job Development Office: Best Chance for Reducing Unemployment and Poverty
Iraq economy has suffered for the past 18 years due to continued violence, economic mismanagement, flawed policies and the absence of leadership and decision-makers running the state. This economic decline has resulted in political instability, corruptions, unemployment and poverty.
The Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in cooperation with the Provincial Councils and representatives of the state departments developed the first Provincial Development Strategy (PDS) for each governorate during 2007-2011.
The strategy represented a comprehensive vision for the people and was capable of introducing development and reform to improve the standard of living, social and economic prosperity, essential services and security. However, this strategy was never implemented and was neglected by the Iraqi Provincial Officials due to the lack of vision and poor management.
Their unwillingness to implement the proposed initiatives led to the deterioration of education, health services, and increased rates of illiteracy, poverty and unemployment. The trust between the citizens and the local governments was lost. Iraqi citizens starting losing hope of a better future and protests spread demanding change and reform.
Iraqi's Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi's cabinet approved the White Paper for Economic Reforms last October. The document offers a three-year plan for how Iraq's financial dilemma can be mitigated. The plan outlines a strategy for the government to wean the country off its excess dependence on oil for state revenues by introducing changes at the Ministry of Finance, reforming the contracted economic sectors and dysfunctional state administration, rebuilding the rundown infrastructure and providing basic services.
While experts agree such tough measures are necessary, they will be difficult to implement and will likely face resistance from the Iraqi public especially since many of these initiatives have failed in previous governments. And in the absence of a concrete implementation plan, those proposed systems remain vague and unclear.
It is in my opinion that the only way forward with Iraqi's turmoil is if the Prime Minister creates a Job Development Office (JDO) that is managed by socio-economic development advisor(s). The advisor(s) will then delegate and direct the government ministries. Each ministry should designated employees to liaison with the JDO, work alongside the other ministries and report back to their respective ministry.
The JDO will mainly operate as a program manager where it will set targets and lead the initiatives to create jobs. As the JDO demonstrates it can deliver results it can scale their program nationwide, while gaining support from local authority and the private sector. More importantly the JDO can establish its credibility with international organizations to build trust that has historically been tainted due to corruption.
For example: Iraq currently has thousands of private factories that are not operating due to equipment malfunction or skilled labor shortages. The JDO in with the Ministers can facilitate the restoration of the factories in collaboration with the OEM's and local service providers. Working with the owners the local leader and NGO's the JDO will supervise a training and recruitment campaign to provide the required skilled labor to operate the Factory.
The Job Development Office can create a task force that will be the cornerstone of Iraq's job development. The task force should focus on relationship building, training, exchanging of ideas, problem solving, resolving conflicts/challenges, and innovation. The task force will also be responsible for streamlining all information directed from the Prime Minister and his advisor(s).
The Job Development Office's only hope is with the support and initiative of the Prime Minister who in turn can attract foreign support and investment to facilitate and offer opportunities for the Iraqi people.
Promoting inclusive economic growth and job creation in Iraq
Unemployment remains a persistent challenge in Iraq especially for youth and women. Many internally displaced persons are unemployed, underemployed, informally employed, or out of the labour force.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further compounded these employment challenges. In this context, providing jobs and livelihoods remains a high priority in order to promote social cohesion and improve resilience.
Agriculture has the potential to make a major contribution to employment in Iraq but is affected by low farm productivity, weak value chains and a challenging business environment.
To address this, the EU is launching a EUR 22.5 million project, 'Strengthening the agriculture and agri-food value chain and improving trade policy' (SAAVI). The five year project is being implemented by the International Trade Center (ITC) in close collaboration with the Government of Iraq and other local partners
SAAVI seeks to enhance the competitiveness of agriculture and related activities and improve trade policy in Iraq. It will address farm and firm level challenges and strengthen the value chains in the agriculture sector.
This will be done through analysis of the value chain, introduction of new production strategies and training to farmers on product diversification for domestic markets.
It will also build the capacities of micro, small, and medium enterprises and broaden the knowledge and skills base for youth including training on entrepreneurship and business skills. Technical and vocational skills programmes will also be strengthened to better match the needs of the private sector.
Support will also be given to policymakers and key institutions involved in the WTO accession process, including capacity building on trade negotiation, policy formulation, and coordination. WTO membership will help Iraq to complete domestic policy and reforms for the modernization of its business environment and achieve effective integration into global economy. Since the process of negotiation towards WTO accession is unique to each country, project activities will assist officials throughout the process.
The EU Ambassador to Iraq, Mr Martin Huth said:
"The EU is committed to supporting efforts to increase economic opportunities across Iraq. Agriculture value chains have the potential to provide decent work to many young Iraqis, men and women. At the same time, the project will support the Iraqi government as it develops its trade policy and progresses towards the country's accession to WTO, which is a key component of economic development and job creation."
The Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, Ms Pamela Coke-Hamilton said:
"ITC is committed to assist the government and MSMEs in Iraq to increase the competitiveness and diversification of the economy. We will use our experience in strategy design and value chain development to support MSMEs in the country better realize their potential for job creation and income generation. Together with our partners, we will strengthen the agriculture and agri-food value chain, and support trade policy interventions aligned with government priorities".
Unlocking the potential of the agriculture sector of the country will lead to the creation of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth particularly those living in rural areas who have been affected by prolonged conflict. The project will also contribute to mitigating the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is presenting new challenges for Iraq, and help in the reconstruction of the rural economy.
It forms part of the overall EU approach to employment creation, private sector development and agribusiness in supporting economic recovery and reform in Iraq.
About the International Trade Centre
The International Trade Centre (ITC) is the only development agency that is fully dedicated to supporting the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Established in 1964, the ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.
By John Lee.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Iraqi Popular Mobilization Committee (PMC) Chairman and former National Security Advisor Falih al-Fayyadh for what it says is his connection to serious human rights abuse.
In response, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry has expressed its surprise on the decision, and stressed that the decision was "an unacceptable surprise". It adds that the Ministry will carefully follow up with the current and new administration in Washington all decisions issued by the US Treasury Department against Iraqi names and work to address this matter.
The full statement from OFAC is below:
Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Iraqi Popular Mobilization Committee (PMC) Chairman and former National Security Advisor Falih al-Fayyadh for his connection to serious human rights abuse. During protests beginning in October 2019, Iran-aligned elements of the PMC attacked Iraqi civilians demonstrating against corruption, unemployment, economic stagnation, poor public services, and Iranian interference in Iraq's domestic affairs. Al-Fayyadh was part of a crisis cell comprised primarily of Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militia leaders formed in late 2019 to suppress the Iraqi protests with the support of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). Today, Iran-aligned elements of the PMF continue to wage an assassination campaign against political activists in Iraq who are calling for free and fair elections, respect for human rights, and clean government.
"By directing and supervising the murder of peaceful Iraqi demonstrators, Iran-aligned militants and politicians such as Falih al-Fayyadh have been waging a violent campaign against Iraqi democracy and civil society," said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. "The United States will continue to hold accountable human rights abusers in Iraq who aim to deny the Iraqi people in their efforts to peacefully protest, seek justice, and root out corruption in their country."
This action is taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption.
Falih al-Fayyadh (al-Fayyadh) is the head of the PMC, a body created by Iraqi legislation to bring the PMF militias under central government control. Although the PMF was established to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), many PMF militias are increasingly focused on advancing their own economic interests and supporting Iran's regional agenda in Iraq, rather than protecting the Iraqi state or its citizens. Al-Fayyadh was the head of the PMC when many of its subcomponents fired live ammunition at peaceful protesters in late 2019, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Iraqis. Al-Fayyadh was a member of the IRGC-QF-supported crisis cell with previously sanctioned militia leaders Qais al-Khazali and Hussein Falah al-Lami, as well as the now-deceased IRGC-QF commander Qasem Soleimani and PMC deputy leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Until July 2020, Al-Fayyadh was also the Iraqi Prime Minister's National Security Advisor.
Al-Fayyadh is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13818 for being a foreign person who is or has been a leader or official of an entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse.
The IRGC-QF, designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 25, 2007, is a branch of the IRGC responsible for external operations and has provided material support to numerous terrorist groups, making it a key component of Iran's destabilizing regional activities. The IRGC-QF's parent organization, the IRGC, was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 13, 2017, and on April 15, 2019 was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Secretary of State.
As a result of today's action, all property and interests in property of the person above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempt, OFAC's regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Building upon the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, the President signed E.O. 13818 on December 20, 2017, in which the President found that the prevalence of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, had reached such scope and gravity that it threatens the stability of international political and economic systems. Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets.
The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons.
(Sources: OFAC, Iraqi Foreign Ministry)
New partnership with Germany to create sustainable employment opportunities for Iraqis
Germany has reaffirmed its partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) by investing EUR 30 million (US$35.89 million) to enhance economic empowerment and create employment opportunities for vulnerable communities in Iraq.
The contribution was made available by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with financing provided through Germany's KfW Development Bank. With that contribution, BMZ has over the past five years committed more than EUR 340 million to various UNDP programmes in Iraq.
Focusing on areas with the hardest-to-return populations in Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah Al-Din, the Building Resilience through Employment Promotion (BREP) project gives Iraq the opportunity to build forward better in its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project will provide more than 16,000 Iraqis with short-term and medium-term employment opportunities, as well as skills development in economically promising sectors of construction and agriculture, and the private sector through small and medium size enterprises.
UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad, said:
"Germany and KfW have long been key partners of UNDP Iraq. We are grateful for this continued commitment to building peace and stability for communities in Iraq - particularly the most vulnerable.
"The onset of COVID-19 has exacerbated Iraq's economic crisis and increased unemployment rates, especially for the most vulnerable Iraqis. Germany's renewed support will enhance economic empowerment within the community, leading to a greater sense of inclusion, especially among young people and women."
Germany's Ambassador in Baghdad, H. E. Dr. Ole Diehl, stresses the importance of the measures taken:
"The COVID-Pandemic has hit the Iraqi population hard. But its socio-economic consequences will be much worse if we do not act immediately. People need a roof over their head and a job to put food on their tables. Germany stands at their side to help build financial resilience."
Dr. Anna Janke, Country Director of KfW Office in Iraq, said:
"The social and economic challenges Iraq is facing have been exacerbated by the pandemic and KfW on behalf of the German government is pleased to support Iraq in its efforts to cope with these tremendous challenges. In providing financing for BREP we will contribute to strengthening the resilience of vulnerable communities by enhancing their economic empowerment."
Under the project, UNDP supports vulnerable Iraqis to build back better and recover from the economic shock of the COVID-19 crisis, and improve income security, productivity and socioeconomic inclusion of vulnerable populations.
The project will contribute significantly to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 (No Poverty), 5 (Gender Equality) and 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).
Posted on 01 November 2020 . Tags: Beautiful Missan, European Union (EU), featured, Maysan, Missan, mn, Oxfam, Supporting Recovery and Stability in Iraq through Local Development, UN Development Programme (UNDP)
Beautiful Missan Project: Working towards rehabilitation of recreational infrastructure and job creation
Funded by the European Union (EU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the Beautiful Missan project that focuses on the rehabilitation of recreational infrastructure and job creation.
The two-year project supports socio-economic growth through eco-tourism, restoration of cultural heritage and urban beautification. It is implemented in partnership with the Governorate of Missan and Oxfam, under the programme Supporting Recovery and Stability in Iraq through Local Development.
A townhall meeting, held in Missan on 28 October 2020, discussed the project activities and priorities with representatives of the local authorities, communities and academia, implementing organizations and other stakeholders.
Governor of Missan, Mr. Ali Dawe Lazim, said:
"Through the resilience, hard work and commitment of our local population, we will work together to rebuild Missan and promote both our heritage and future potential. This project seeks to promote the role of women and youth in shaping and building a better future for all, for this we are very proud and hope other places will follow this example."
The European Union's Chargé d'Affaires a.i. in Iraq, Mr. Jean Bernard Bolvin, said:
"I am very pleased to see the launch of this project in Missan ... Missan is an extremely rich cultural and environmental area. The valorisation of the center of Al Amara, the rehabilitation of recreational sites and renovation of touristic spots within the city will create jobs and skills opportunities, especially for youth and women, and improve living conditions of communities during these very difficult times.
"But this project is also an important occasion to stay strong and build a future, to think of tourism opportunities that are forthcoming and to create stimulus for the private sector. Led by the Governor, Mr. Ali Dawe Lazim, and with the help of the very resilient people of Missan, I am certain that the preservation and valorisation of the city area will provide long-term contribution to the socio-economic development plan for the Governorate. And I wish all our partners the best of success for this important project."
Resident Representative of UNDP Iraq, Ms. Zena Ali-Ahmad, said:
"Missan has a wealth of natural resources and cultural heritage. Thanks to funding from the European Union and the cooperation of the local authorities, the Beautiful Missan project will help accelerate job creation, eco-tourism and economic development. We look forward to supporting the local communities and businesses to sustainably shape the future of their Governorate."
Country Director of Oxfam in Iraq, Mr. Andres Gonzalez, stated:
"This is an exciting opportunity for us to work with local communities and create job opportunities through initiatives that will enhance urban beautification, improve public spaces and promote local business. Iraq has experienced decades of socio-political and economic turmoil, but the resilience and fortitude of the Iraqi people never ceases to amaze, I have every confidence that this initiative will bring together communities from across Missan to collectively tackle the challenges they face -unemployment, poverty, poor infrastructure - and showcase the potential of Beautiful Missan to the rest of the world."
Missan is one of the poorest governorates in Iraq and has a disproportionately high share of people living below the poverty line. A high population growth rate coupled with urbanization has put increased pressure on all service sectors. As unemployment remains high, the Beautiful Missan project will also focus on skills training and creating employment opportunities for women and youth in particular. This will be achieved through city renovation projects, as well as supporting and promoting small and medium enterprises and the tourism sector.
The programme Supporting Recovery and Stability in Iraq through Local Development aims at contributing to the stability and socio-economic development of Iraq through enhancing good governance at the local level. It is working to improve the ability of selected governorates to efficiently manage local government and public services. Economic growth and job creation are prioritized, with a focus on green projects, involving youth and women, in addition to enhancing the living conditions of returnees and in conflict affected areas.
Click here to download the programme fact sheet.
Posted in Construction & Engineering In Iraq Comments Off on Beautiful Missan Project: Infrastructure and Job Creation
Iraqi government launches online portal to help job seekers find employment in public and private sectors
The Iraqi government in partnership with Iraq's Federal Public Service Council announced the launch of "tawtheef" portal to support graduates and qualified job-seekers to find employment in the public and private sectors.
The portal is part of a wider Iraqi government programme aimed at addressing unemployment in Iraq and creating job opportunities in the public and private sectors.
Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in an welcome message posted on the new portal affirmed that providing job opportunities and improving the Iraqi economic environment is a shared national mission that requires all Iraqis to work together to build an effective and resilient economy able to withstand crises, especially the current Coronavirus crisis.
Easy to use interface
The "tawtheef" portal is aimed at graduate job seekers and those with professional skills and abilities.
The online portal has an a simple interface designed to enable users to register and use the portal with ease.
The portal aims to make available to recruiters the details, capabilities and skills of young qualified Iraqi job-seekers, and will act as a link between employers and potential candidates to fill vacancies in the private and public sectors.
How to use "tawtheef" portal
- Go to https://tawtheef.gov.iq/
- Click on the "register now" button.
- Fill out the online form
- Click on "send information now" button
- The applicant must fill all required fields in the online application form
- The information provided is correct and is supported by evidence and documents
- Applicants can only register through the portal once
After filling in and sending the form, job-seekers will receive an email asking them to activate their registration, and once they have completed this process, each job-seeker will be allocated a unique identification number.
The details of job seekers will be saved on secure servers, and will be made available only to authorised recruiters in the public and private sectors.
When the skills-set of a job seeker matches the skills required for a vacant job in the private sector, the job seeker will be contacted directly by the private business or company that is hiring.
When the skills-set of a job seeker matches the skills required for a vacant job in the public sector, the job seeker will be notified by email about the vacant post and invited to apply directly for the job, in line with the employment laws in the public sector in Iraq.
Registering on "tawtheef" portal does not necessarily guarantee employment.
(Source: Govt of Iraq)
Posted in Employment Comments Off on Iraqi Govt launches Online Jobs Portal
By Hussein Al-Alak, Editor of Iraq Solidarity News (Al-Thawra). Re-published with permission by Iraq Business News.
In May 2005, the UN announced that Iraq was "about to become a transit station for heroin", where after being "manufactured in Afghanistan is heading towards Europe through neighbouring Iran".
In 2013, it was reported that "violence, unemployment and poverty" had led to a dramatic "increase" in drug abuse across Iraq and that drugs were becoming wide spread, in places where child labour is commonly used - such as in car repair shops and on road junctions, where cheap goods are often sold.
The Baghdad Post reported how the Islamic State were cultivating opium in Sharqat to finance their terror based operations. According to the publication, opium was being used to extract heroin in the laboratories of the University of Mosul, after falling under IS control in June 2014.
In Kurdistan, security forces raided a drugs farm in October 2016 and found narcotics with an estimated value of around $1 million. The mountainous nature and rough terrain of Northern Iraq, had made it difficult for security services to detect this and other drug farms in the area.
In 2017, it was highlighted by the Associated Press, how Iraq's national security agency confirmed the presence of facilities producing drugs - such as crystal meth - in the Basra and Maysan provinces in the south of Iraq.
According to anti-narcotics officers in Basra, since 2014 the drugs trade has flourished because of the vacuum left, when security forces were moved from the borders to join the fight against the Islamic State, which swept through nearly a third of Iraq that year.
Mental Health, Drug Abuse and Seeking Solutions
Those vulnerable to drug abuse and those experiencing drug addictions, are people living with conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - where extreme acts of violence and isolation due to instability - has left people turning to illegal drugs to "numb" the pain of conflict.
While treatments for such conditions often vary, the Narconon rehabilitation service, holds a different perspective to other treatments offered for drug and substance abuse. Narconon don't have "patients", "victims" or even "addicts". They have "students who are learning to live a successful drug-free life."
As people are often proscribed legal drugs, to suppress cravings or to dumb down the psychological element of addiction, Narconon offers more therapeutic remedies, with "no substitute drugs" and they also seek long lasting solutions by addressing the question; "what drove a person to drugs in the first place?"
In an approach similar to rehabilitation techniques like Mindfulness or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Narconon recognises the connection between mental health and addiction, where "a person's attention can be stuck in thousands of different moments", which then impacts a persons overall behaviour in the present.
Quite often, people living with PTSD can also experience sleeplessness, feelings of detachment, alienation, a lack of motivation and suicidal thoughts. The traumatic experience gives so much mental attention to the past - that even years after the traumatic incident - the person is often left with "little or no attention for the here and now."
Repairing the mind, body and spirit
As Iraq emerges from the battle with Islamic State and as the country seeks to rehabilitate its infrastructure, people need their own rehabilitation services to overcome the hidden wounds of war. People also need to be mindful, that Iraq's approaches to Mental Health may also be under-developed due to neglect, a lack of investment and displacement.
While the professional brain drain Iraq experienced due to conflict, may mean conditions like PTSD and addictions have been left untreated, it's worth giving consideration to the fact; bricks and mortar can replace the material scars of war but drug abuse and the absence of mental health services, can lead to other long term conflicts.
Posted in Healthcare Comments Off on Confronting the Traumatic Fallout of War in Iraq
Salaries of Iraq senior officials depleting state budget
The "astronomical" salaries of the president, ministers, members of parliament and other senior ranking officials in Iraq are depleting the state's budget and wasting public money, Iraqis have said.
The salaries of senior Iraqi officials have resurfaced after social media users circulated the Court of Cassation's objection to a request filed by former Iraqi President, Ghazi Ajil Al-Yawer (pictured), against a decision to suspend his retirement pay under the Unified Retirement Law of 2014.
According to the social media users, Al-Yawer receives a monthly pension of 61.6 million Iraqi dinars ($51,000), which has cost the state $9.5 million over the years, in addition to the salaries of his security detail and other allocations. [Al-Yawer was President of Iraq from June 2004 to April 2005.]
Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent drop in global oil prices, Iraq has been forced into deeper financial woes.
The lockdowns which have resulted from the virus have also increased unemployment.
The country has also been experiencing nationwide anti-corruption protests.
Posted in Politics Comments Off on Salaries of Iraqi Officials Depleting State Budget
Posted on 16 September 2020 . Tags: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), featured, germany, KAPITA, mn
Iraq is heavily reliant on oil, as oil revenues have been the spine of the economy and the main contributor to exports and remain so even with the halt of oil prices and market demand. This led to neglecting the opportunities that lie in other sectors that could diversify and support the economy.
Agriculture is an essential sector that has a great potential that can be exploited to revitalize the economy, developing this sector would accelerate non-oil growth, promote food security and self-sufficiency, and create job opportunities, decrease poverty and unemployment.
The report provides an overview of the agriculture sector and explores its different aspects.
(Source: Kapita, in partnership with GIZ)
Posted in Agriculture Comments Off on New Report on Iraqi Agriculture
JGC Holdings Corporation announced today that JGC Corporation, which operates the overseas engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) business of the JGC Group, has been received the Letter of Award for the Basrah Refinery Upgrading Project for an Iraqi oil refining company under the Iraqi Ministry of Oil. Details of the project are as follows.
|1. Client||South Refineries Company
(Oil refining company under the Iraqi Ministry of Oil)
|2. Construction location||Basrah, Republic of Iraq
(Approx. 550 km SE of the capital of Baghdad)
|3. Primary equipment(processing abilities)||Fluid catalytic cracking unit (34,500 barrels/day),
vacuum distillation unit (55,000 barrels/day),
diesel desulfurization unit (40,000 barrels/day), etc.
|4. Contract services||Engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning|
|5. Contract type||Lump sum contract|
|6. Order amount||Approx. 400 billion JPY|
|7. Scheduled completion||2025|
Iraq is one of the world's leading oil-producing countries, with a confirmed crude oil reserve of 145 billion barrels and a daily crude oil production of 4.41 million barrels. However, the two refineries currently in operation were constructed in the 1970s and their production capacity has decreased due to war damage and deterioration. Unable to meet domestic demand for petroleum products, Iraq has to import petroleum products such as gasoline.
This upgrading of the Basrah refinery will newly install, on land adjacent to the existing Basrah refinery, fluid catalytic cracking unit, vacuum distillation unit, and diesel desulfurization unit, etc., thereby increasing production to 19,000 barrels/day of gasoline and 36,000 barrels/day of diesel fuel, making it possible to reduce the gap in supply and demand for petroleum products.
In addition, the petroleum products produced at the modernized refinery will meet international environmental standards and it is expected that they will contribute to reducing the environmental impact. This project is positioned as spearheading the modernization and sophistication of Iraq's oil refining sector.
Funding for the project will be procured through Japanese ODA loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and is the largest-scale reconstruction assistance from Japan since the 2003 Iraq War.
In carrying out this project, the Group plans to conduct skills training for more than 1,000 Iraqis and to hire approximately 7,000 skilled Iraqi workers. Furthermore, it is expected that more than 2,000 operating personnel jobs will be created after the project's completion, which will contribute to solving the unemployment problem in Iraq
The Group completed a power station reconstruction project in Iraq in 2013, and this is the Group's second project in Iraq. The Group will contribute to the reconstruction and economic development of Iraq through the successful completion of this project.