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Development cooperation


Development cooperation

               Cooperation Events

Cooperation activities since 2003

Italy is among main contributors to Iraq reconstruction through special funds handled until 2008 by the General Direction for Mediterranean Countries and Middle East-Iraq Task Force and later on by General Direction for development Cooperation (DGCS) of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To the grants of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs other Italian Ministries’ grants must be added, such as the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (see section Cultural Cooperation and Training).

Since 2003 Italian engagements for Iraq amount to grants for about 360 million Euros and a soft loan totalling 400 millions Euros established by the “Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Co-operation between the Italian Republic and the Republic of Iraq”. Part of the soft loan (100 million Euros) is addressed to the development of agriculture and its sector of irrigation.

Furthermore Italy has cancelled 2,4 billion Euros of Iraqi debt, the highest amount among European Countries after France.

As far as the multilateral channel is concerned, after 2003 war, Italian cooperation realized different emergency interventions through international organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross for activities in favour of refugees and the victims of violence, the World Health Organization for interventions of health emergency and infective illness preventions campaigns, UNICEF for the assistance  to the most vulnerable bracket of population, the World Food Program for the support of nutrition of internal evacuee and refugees in neighbour Countries. FAO for food security programs, UNESCO for the safety of Iraqi cultural heritage  (see bilateral activities in this field in Cultural Cooperation and training section), UNMAS (United Nations Mine Action Service) for territory demining  and UNDESA for "capacity building" activities in favour of the Research Centre and the library of Iraqi Parliament.

Italy was among main contributors of International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI), multilateral fund handled by World Bank and United Nations. From March 2007 to February 2009 Italy held the Presidency of IRFFI Donors Committee.

Among projects realized with Italian contributes there is one in favour of the development of the agro-industrial sector and the small medium enterprise committed to UNIDO, which was also entrusted for the predisposition of a national master plan for industrial areas. FAO was commissioned to conduct programs in the sectors of agriculture, and in particular for culture immunization campaigns, management of water resources for agriculture, consisting, in particular, in the restoration of pump stations in different Provinces of the Country and training of specialized personnel.
Further, Italy contributed to programs of electoral assistance during the constitutional referendum and 2005 political elections.

Italy answered to appeals launched in 2007, 2008 and 2009 by UNHCR and UNICEF for interventions of humanitarian assistance in favour of internal evacuees and refugees in neighbour Countries  for a total amount of about 10 millions Euros, paying particular attention not only to the internal areas with the highest density crowds of evacuees but also to the situation in Jordan and Syria where the most part of refugees is concentrated. UNIDO conducted also programs aimed to create job opportunities for “returnees”, those who come back to the Country.

Italy continued its engagement in favour of the Red Cross International Committee which conducted in Iraq one of its biggest humanitarian character operation in favour of the population. The Red Cross action included interventions at hospital and healthy structures, illness prevention, control of quality of clear water and first aid actions.

After 2003 events Italy was promptly active also at a bilateral level with interventions of humanitarian character for the supply of first necessity needs in favour of weakest brackets of Iraqi population. On the healthy plan Red Cross realized and managed in 2003 a field hospital in Baghdad where Italian doctors assisted thousands of patients with first aid interventions, surgery and other treatments.

Doctors and Red Cross personnel operated at the Medical Centre of Baghdad up to the second half of 2005. Until 2008 “Mediterranean Institute for Children Foundation - MedChild Institute” conducted a program of medical care in Italy of children affected by blood and cardiac illness, for training of specialists and for the activation of centres for paediatric cardiac diagnostic in Iraqi Kurdistan Region. The NGO “Intersos”, in collaboration with “La Sapienza” University of Rome, conducted activities of telemedicine in favour of Baghdad Paediatric Hospital mainly on cases of pediatric oncohaematology. A sanitary centre has been projected and realized in the South humid areas of the Country (Marshlands) by “Sudgest”. The NGO “Voci di Popoli del Mondo” conducted training activities, also for managers while “Smile Train Italia” realized a project in Dhi Qar for the care of young patients affected by labiopalatoschisis and burns trauma.

In collaboration with the High Institute of Criminal Science of Siracusa some seminars and other activities on Justice reform have been organized; high representatives of Iraq Judiciary, Parliament and Government contributed together with international experts. More than 80 Iraqi officer benefited of training activities in the field  of human rights, organized in Italy in collaboration with  San Remo International Institute of Human Right. Finally, Italy assisted and it continues to assist Iraqi competent Authorities in recovery of the South humid areas of the Country (Marshlands) through allocations of the Italian Ministry of Environment ("New Eden" project) and the Development Cooperation (DGCS) in collaboration with the Department of Engineering of Agriculture and Forestry of Florence University. A "Master Plan" for complete rehabilitation of Marshlands has been realized as well as some interventions aimed to stimulate its repopulation and the recovery of the social, agricultural and commercial activities.

Italian Cooperation in 2012

In 2012 it has been organized a meeting for the promotion of the private sector and the development of economic partnership between Italy and Iraq. The meeting has been organized at Confapi PMI Modena with Institutions and associated enterprises with the purpose of establish a strict relationship with a territory, such as the Iraqi one, capable of offering important opportunities also thanks to the politics pointed out by the opening of the soft loan. The meeting offered to the enterprises the occasion to match, to know the updates of bids and to exchange contacts with numerous Iraqi participating entrepreneurs, in order to develop their collaborations. Two months later the first “Iraq Trade and Investment Forum” took place in Rome at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Farnesina), realized by UNIDO in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Forum, which got an extremely positive result, was the occasion to introduce to Italian enterprises the investment opportunities in Iraq. Institutional Representatives of the two Countries participated the event as well as representatives of the most important Italian enterprises. The meeting which represented a moment of reflection on the opportunities offered by exchanges between Italy and Iraq was followed by a B2B session between Representative of different Iraqi and Italian enterprises.

The engagement of Italian Cooperation in 2012 confirmed to be at first level in the field of conservation and enhancement of the archaeological heritage, with interventions in important Iraqi sites and museums and with training activities of Iraqi personnel. (We consider in this context the possible returns for the fight against poverty through the promotion of tourism, in line with what was reported by the Iraqi government). On the bilateral channel new programs of archaeological and cultural cooperation were funded in favor of CRAST of Turin, University of Udine, University of Rome La Sapienza and the City of Florence, together with a program of the Ministry of Culture  funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Moreover, in consideration of the importance recognized by Iraq to the restoration and preservation of the inestimable cultural heritage of the country, DGCS decided to participate in an important Italian event, to enhance its work in Iraq. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Italian Cooperation (DGDC - Iraq Task Force) participated, in fact, in the Mediterranean Bourse of Archaeological Tourism with a booth dedicated to initiatives and projects for the conservation and enhancement of cultural and artistic heritage of Iraq. On the occasion of the fifteenth edition of the event, a special visibility was given to the presentation of the photographic exhibition "Friend Iraq: Iraqi artists for Italian Cooperation", during which the Iraqi Ambassador, HE Saywan Barzani renewed its deep appreciation to the many cooperation initiatives carried out in Iraq, as an example of the friendly relationship between the two countries and concrete evidence of the intense bilateral relations that characterize Italy and Iraq.

Two training courses that were largely successful and received great appreciation from the Iraqi authorities were also realized. The first was carried out in collaboration with the Port Authority of La Spezia and allowed to form people at managerial and technical level (experts in port management and port engineering experts) for the management of Al Faw new Port, in southern country. The second is a two-year master for 15 Iraqi engineers graduates in the aeronautical and aerospace industries. The master is organized in collaboration with the University "La Sapienza" of Rome.

Italian Coooperation in 2013
Iraq has been confirmed a priority Country for Italian Cooperation in 2013. In addition to the prosecution of the “on going activities”, both on the bilateral and multilateral sides, new activities are going to be started in traditional sectors of intervention, in particular for the recovery of the Cultural heritage, the reinforcement of the sanitary sector, the promotion of human rights through training course addressed to high Iraqi officer, the promotion of the universal right to education.
Furthermore Italy intends to contribute to face front to the emergency of Syrian refugees living in the refugee camps in the Northwest Iraqi provinces. For 2013 an important allocation for the activities of UNICEF which will realize, among other, a campaign for the fight to the practise of female genital organs mutilations.