From Middle East Monitor, under a Creative Commons licence. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq’s official anti-corruption agency stated in its latest annual report that it restored 2.84 trillion Iraqi dinars ($2.38 billion) to the Treasury in 2019.

The Federal Commission of Integrity added that it has utilised its relationships with other state watchdogs, and that it created a national strategy for fighting corruption in collaboration with the Federal Board of Supreme Audit.

According to the report, the commission examined and was involved in 26,163 notices and court cases in 2019, with 10,143 persons accused of corruption. Those included 50 officials who were government ministers or holding equivalent positions.

There were 931 court rulings in which 1,231 defendants were convicted of corruption. They included four ministers or officials at the same level.

(Source: Middle East Monitor)

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is setting up quarantine areas aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus from across the border with Iran.

Neighbouring Iran has reported its sixth death from the disease.

There are fears that hundreds of thousands of Iranian visitors to holy sites in Iraq could spread the virus.

Al Jazeera‘s Rob Matheson reports from the Iraqi capital Baghdad:

The Government of Iraq, represented by the Ministry of Planning, and UNFPA launched the Fund’s third Country Programme Document (CPD) for 2020-2024, at the Ministry of Planning’s premises on 20 February 2020.

The CPD, which was developed in collaboration with the Government of Iraq, United Nations agencies, human rights institutions and civil society organizations, is in harmony with the country’s priorities as outlined in the Iraq Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Iraq National Development Plan (2018-2022) and the Iraq Vision 2030.

It also focuses on the four outcomes of the UNFPA Strategic Plan (2018-2021) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for Iraq (2020 -2024).

Through this CPD, UNFPA will work to strengthen national capacity for the provision of high-quality integrated sexual and reproductive health services, especially for the most vulnerable populations. The efforts will be directed towards increasing the national capacity for creating demand of reproductive health services, including the request for information to enable the population to make informed decisions related to their sexual and reproductive health.

The next five years, will ensure that young people have the skills and ammunition to exercise leadership and participate in sustaining peace as per UNSC resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace or Security. Furthermore, UNFPA with donors and partners will help improve the capacity of the government, human rights institutions, local civil society organizations and communities to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, including in humanitarian settings.

Moreover, the partnership with the government, academic, experts, and the civil society will aim at improving the national population data systems for better availability, analysis and creation of evidence-based programmes.

Speaking at the event, his Excellency Minister of Planning, Dr Nouri Al-Dulaimi said:

Country programmes documents have contributed to preparing and building the capacities of Iraqis in many ways. The support received in ​​providing integrated services and access to information, in empowering young people to exercise leadership and participation in development projects at the national and local levels, in reducing and addressing gender-based violence, and in providing technical support to improving data and data collection to draft people-centred policies and strategies in line with the goals of sustainable development 2030.

“We look forward today to continue our partnership with UNFPA within the framework of its new CPD for 2020-2024 which will be the stepping stone to enhance and strengthen population dynamics in Iraq.

On his part, UNFPA Representative, Dr Oluremi Sogunro, said:

“This third country programme tells the story of the long history of cooperation between UNFPA and the Government and People of Iraq. We look forward to this new era of work where we will strive to strengthen national capacities, in particular of health systems and woman machineries, to address emerging development and humanitarian needs, and to ensure that no one is left behind.”

“Women and girls count; their rights are inherent to them, are owed to them; and if we invest in them, the world and all of the 17 sustainable development goals will advance forward rapidly as a result.”

The ceremony, which was attended by representatives of key ministries and government entities, Governors, partners and civil society members, was preceded by a signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Planning and UNFPA for the disbursement of IQD 6 billion from the Government of Iraq to UNFPA support to the 2020 Population and Housing Census.

The event will be followed by a stakeholder meeting on 23-24 February where UNFPA will develop with donors and key partners the implementation framework of the country programme document to serve more efficiently the population of Iraq.

Click here to download the full document.

(Source: UN)

The newly-rehabilitated Al Shifa Surgical Center was officially opened by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Iraq today.

The surgical center will serve as the primary medical facility for approximately 800,000 people across East Mosul.

This major project included rehabilitating inpatient wards with 24 beds for men and women, two full operating theatres, two intensive care units, and a number of examination and sterilization rooms. A new oxygen generator building will provide high-quality oxygen supply to the whole hospital and can refill oxygen bottles to meet external demand. The facility was rehabilitated with financial support from The Government of The Netherlands.

The Governor of Ninewa, His Excellency Najim Abdullah al-Juboori was joined by UNDP Resident Representative in Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmed, to mark the occasion.

“The Al Shifa Surgical Center is a well-equipped, modern medical facility – one that will provide a huge number of Moslawis with the quality healthcare services they so deserve,” said Ms. Ali Ahmed, Resident Representative of UNDP Iraq.

“Access to healthcare is one of the foundations of strong societies and UNDP is proud to be working to improve healthcare access across the areas that suffered under ISIL,” added Ms. Ali Ahmed.

Governor of Ninewa, His Excellency Najim Abdullah al-Juboori, noted that “Whilst healthcare facilities in Mosul were providing quality services for many years, the destruction caused by ISIL has resulted in Moslawis having to seek treatment in other governorates.”

“Now, as many doctors return to the city, and with the support of UNDP to reconstruct critical public healthcare facilities, services will become more affordable and accessible to Moslawis in need.”

The surgical center is a satellite facility of the Al Shifa Hospital Complex, which was used as a Headquarters by ISIL during the occupation of Mosul. The hospital complex was cleared of over 2,000 explosive items in 2017, with the support of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

UNDP is working across the liberated governorates of Iraq to improve healthcare services. As a result, 1.8 million people now have better access to healthcare services through the rehabilitation of hospitals and primary healthcare centers.

(Source: UNDP)

The Ambassador of Iraq in Moscow, Mr. Abdul-Rahman Hamid Al-Hussaini, met with the Russian Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr. Pavel Sorokin to discuss bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy (oil, gas, and electricity).

Ambassador Al-Hussaini stressed Iraq’s keenness to develop relations with the Russian Federation in the energy sector and provide support to Russian companies working in it, noting the importance of increasing Russian investments to serve the interests of the two friendly countries.

Ambassador Al-Hussaini stated that the embassy will support all Russian companies willing to work in Iraq, and will work to provide facilities with the responsible authorities in Iraq.

The two sides discussed the possibility of employing Iraqi graduates from universities with engineering specializations in the fields of energy in Russian companies operating in Iraq.

The two sides also discussed the dangers of the Coronavirus and its impact on the energy market, as well as bilateral cooperation on stabilizing oil prices in global markets.

(Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)