Japan, UNDP extend partnership to accelerate economic recovery in Iraq
Baghdad – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and UNDP have signed an extension of their existing partnership to accelerate the implementation of infrastructure and economic projects in key sectors such as electricity, water and sanitation, oil, transportation and industry. These projects have a total value of $3.28 billion, to date, and are implemented by Iraqi ministries.
Under this partnership UNDP will work with JICA and the Government of Iraq on project monitoring (including fiduciary monitoring) and capacity development. This will ensure that procedures are properly carried out in accordance with JICA's internationally-standardized guidelines and regulations, and that the Japanese Government loans are used in an accountable, transparent, and efficient manner. UNDP will also monitor projects through assessing progress and management capacities to identify bottlenecks and gaps and give guidance and advice to the ministries to improve project implementation.
“Our partnership with UNDP since 2009 has demonstrated successful results in terms of strengthening financial and project monitoring capacities, and thereby helping to accelerate project implementation and enhance the project team's capacities” said Mr. Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative of JICA in Iraq. “Through this partnership, JICA has contributed to boosting the economy and improving the delivery of basic services to the Iraqi people, in addition to introducing international standards in terms of procurement and financial management,” he added.
The Government of Japan announced in 2003 a $5 billion financial assistance package to Iraq out of which $3.5 billion was a loan to support reconstruction projects. The Government of Iraq and the Government of Japan established a joint committee to monitor the use of these funds. The committee, under the leadership of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee, the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Finance and representatives from the Embassy of Japan and JICA meets regularly with Iraqi ministries who present progress reports on their ministry’s specific projects.
"We are very grateful to JICA for renewing their partnership with UNDP Iraq," said Peter Batchelor, UNDP Iraq Country Director. "Through this partnership we are able to help the Iraqis implement projects in crucial sectors of economy which we hope will have a positive impact on people’s daily lives,” he added.