The U.S. Agency for International Development
USAID Accomplishments in Iraq
March 2003 to March 2004
March 18, 2004
The U.S. government began planning its support for Iraqi humanitarian and
reconstruction needs by deploying a multi-agency Disaster Assistance Response
Team (DART) to assess the humanitarian situation and coordinate relief in Iraq.
At the same time, members of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
technical staff deployed to Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, and Cyprus to prepare for
post-conflict reconstruction. Immediately following the conflict, USAID
established offices in four Iraqi cities -- Baghdad, Al Hillah, Arbil and Al
On May 2, 2003, USAID began directing more than $1.5 billion in assistance,
including $2 million in initial food aid. Today, USAID reconstruction and
humanitarian assistance is delivered through 45 grants and contracts to U.S.
businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), supporting programs in
power, water, sanitation, local governance, health, education and nutrition. The
USAID Mission in Iraq coordinates all programs with the Coalition Provisional
Total USAID assistance to Iraq in fiscal years (FYs) 2003 and 2004 is $3.2
billion as of March 17, 2004.
A key component of CPA's efforts in Iraq is the rehabilitation and improvement
of the power system. Restoring electricity to homes, public facilities and
businesses is critical to the re-establishment of all facets of Iraqi society.
In April, , Iraq's electrical generation capacity was 1,275 MW -- 29
percent of the pre-conflict level. Power production peaked at 4,066 MW on March
11, . Since the conflict, the CPA has worked to more than triple
electrical generation to the pre-conflict generating level of 4,400 MW.
Decades of operation without regular maintenance and fuel shortages have
severely hampered dependable production. USAID is adding 907 MW of capacity by
summer of 2004 through maintenance rehabilitation and new generation projects.
Total demand in Iraq is still estimated to be 7,000 MW, and although the overall
security situation has improved-especially since the deployment of "power
police" to guard sensitive lines-looting of cables, destruction of high-tension
towers, and fuel line sabotage persist.
Water and Sanitation
Iraq has 13 major wastewater facilities. Baghdad's three facilities are
currently inoperable and comprise three quarters of the nation's sewage
treatment capacity. Raw waste flows directly into the Tigris River. In the rest
of the country, most wastewater treatment facilities were only partly
operational before the conflict, and a shortage of electricity, parts, and
chemicals has exacerbated the situation and only a few wastewater treatment
plants are operational. Iraq's 140 major water treatment facilities operate at
about 65 percent of the pre-war level of three billion liters a day.
In Baghdad, USAID is currently expanding one water treatment plant and
rehabilitating three sewage treatment plants. The first of the sewage treatment
plants will come on-line in April 2004. Water and sanitation projects through
USAID will benefit over 14.5 million Iraqis. These efforts include specific
programs to rehabilitate the entire Sweet Water Canal system, including the
canal and its reservoirs, and 14 water treatment plants and pumping stations
providing potable water to over 1.75 million people. In central Iraq, these
projects include rehabilitating one water treatment plant and four sewage
plants. In the north, USAID is rehabilitating two water treatment plants and one
sewage plant, and in Al Basrah, USAID is working to rehabilitate water treatment
plants and pump stations.
Before the conflict, 1.2 million Iraqis subscribed to landline telephone
service, much of which was centralized in Baghdad. A large part of the network's
switching component was damaged during the conflict and service was disrupted.
USAID installed 13 new switches, which were fully integrated with the 14
existing switches in Baghdad to assist in restarting landline phone service. As
a result, as of March 9, , 104,680 subscribers to the Iraqi landline phone
network were reconnected. In addition, a satellite gateway system was installed
and restored international calling service to Iraq on December 30. In total,
repairs to the national fiber optic network have connected or reconnected
Baghdad to 20 other Iraqi cities, comprising 70 percent of the population.
Ports, Bridges, and Rails
At the end of the war, port facilities at Umm Qasr were incapable of unloading
or docking any deep draft ships. Dredging operations were initiated and now all
21 berths are open to deep-draft ships. Renovation of grain-receiving facility
allows the port to process up to 600 metric tons of grain an hour. Umm Qasr
seaport reopened to commercial traffic June 17. The first passenger vessel test
was completed July 16. Currently, more than 50 ships offload cargo at the port
every month. More than 200,000 tons of grain has been unloaded since the first
ship arrived in mid-November. The grain-receiving facilities maintenance and
management have been turned over to the Iraqi Grain Board. Port tariffs were
applied on June 20, 2003, and these funds contribute financial stability of the
port operations. These port revenues continue to outgrow port operating costs.
As part of the reconstruction effort three bridges were identified as priorities
for rebuilding. These bridges are critical to maintaining highway links in Iraq
and providing transportation of food, people, and fuel across the country. For
example, repairs to the floating bridge over the Tigris River at Al Kut have
improved traffic for over 50,000 travelers each day. The three bridges will be
completed by May. In addition, 72 kilometers of rail tracks from Umm Qasr to
Baghdad have been repaired.
As part of Bechtel's $1.03 billion contract, airports, seaports, roads, bridges,
and railways are being rebuilt, allowing for the transport of humanitarian
assistance, reconstruction material, and increased commerce. USAID partner
Skylink has assessed three civilian airports in Iraq -- in Baghdad, Al Basrah,
and Mosul. More than 5,000 military and NGO [nongovernmental organizations]
flights processing 4,500 passengers have arrived at and departed from Baghdad
International Airport since July. The work here includes completing the
emergency infrastructure work at Baghdad International Airport for civil air
Before the 1990s, Iraq had one of the best education systems in the Middle East,
with universal primary school enrollment and high rates of literacy among women.
A decade later, tight central government control had resulted in buildings that
were rarely if ever maintained, teachers who were poorly paid and ill-trained,
and shortages of basic equipment and schoolbooks. School enrollment for all ages
had declined precipitously.
Because of the importance of education in the reconstruction of Iraq, including
the need to re-establish Iraq's formerly high degree of literacy, USAID has
rehabilitated 2,351 schools country-wide for the first term of the 2003-2004
school year; printed and distributed 8.7 million revised math and science
textbooks for grades one through 12; trained over 32,000 teachers and education
administrative workers; and distributed 1.4 million secondary school kits
throughout the country. These efforts, combined with the retraining of teachers
and the provision of desks and chairs, have resulted in children returning to
school. Notably, female attendance has surpassed male attendance, and overall
attendance during exam week was 97 percent.
Health conditions in Iraq deteriorated substantially under Saddam Hussein. By
2003, almost a third of the children in southern and central Iraq suffered from
malnutrition. Life expectancy is 58 years -- low in comparison to the average
for least developed countries of 65 years.
USAID has partnered with UNICEF [United Nations Children's Fund], the World
Health Organization (WHO) and Abt Associates to support health program in Iraq.
Since the end of the war, USAID has vaccinated three million Iraqi children
under the age of five, administered tetanus vaccine to more than 700,000
pregnant women, and by April 30, 2004, the USAID mission will have provided
updated vaccinations to 90 percent of pregnant women and children under five
years of age. Other efforts include equipping 600 facilities in seven target
governorates to provide essential primary healthcare services, training more
than 2,000 primary healthcare providers, and re-establishing the country's vital
disease surveillance system. Mobile health teams working with the Ministry of
Health have visited more than 2,000 families who do not have normal access to or
have not visited primary health care facilities as well.
The government of Iraq is being rebuilt to reflect the will of the people. The
Baathist regime isolated the Iraqi people from the rest of the world, set
individual against individual, neighbor against neighbor, ethnic group against
ethnic group, and religious group against religious group. The USAID local
governance program has facilitated the formation of 392 neighborhoods, 192 sub
districts, 78 districts, and 16 governorate councils, and has engaged directly
or indirectly more than 20 million Iraqis in local government political
processes. Baghdad's councils now represent all of Baghdad's 88 neighborhoods to
city and district councils.
Projects for Women
USAID has over 147 development activities underway or completed which focus on
women and children issues, including civil society development as well as
initiatives to improve community based communications and advocacy capacity.
Approximately 76 percent of the direct beneficiaries of these activities are
women. USAID funding has contributed to starting and rehabilitating more than 17
women's centers, shelters, and associations and to provide resources and
training to women's rights groups and mobile crisis intervention teams.
Community Action Programs
USAID has provided small, quick-impact grants to communities to address
reconstruction needs at the local level. These programs provide the opportunity
for Iraqis to direct and delegate efforts and encourage collaboration between
Iraqi communities. The communities themselves have committed contributions of
over $13 million, which is over 20 percent of the total project funding being
provided. These contributions have come primarily in the form of labor, in-kind
contributions, buildings, and land.
These community grants are dispersed through a number of different programs,
including the Health Strengthening Project, the Community Action Program (CAP),
and the Local Governance Program. Through these efforts, USAID has committed
$49.2 million to 1,360 projects that have benefited eight million people. CAP
has established 664 community associations in 16 governorates. To date, USAID
has disbursed approximately 850 grants to Iraqi NGOs.
Quick Impact Projects
USAID delivered 37 "ministries in a box" worth $3.9 million, including office
equipment, desks, chairs and computers, to assist the Iraqi ministries re-open
and begin working following the post-conflict looting. USAID rehabilitated 19
Governing Council outreach centers, 30 municipal government offices, three post
offices, three public libraries and five Iraq property claims commission
offices. These projects have provided funding to 48 non-governmental
organizations, six human rights associations, and ten arts and cultural
organizations. In addition, USAID has provided assistance to ten media
organizations, funded numerous documentaries and films, provided nine grants to
support materials promoting democratic themes, and disbursed 18 grants to
support public opinion polling activities.
USIAD assisted the CPA in creating more than 77,000 public works jobs through
the National Employment Program. USAID, working through its partner BearingPoint,
provided technical assistance on the implementation of a bank-to-bank payment
system that allows 80 banks to send and receive payment instructions. USAID is
also managing a $21 million micro-credit program.
USAID has awarded 11 grants totaling over $600,000 for a variety of agricultural
programs including support for Winter Crop Technology Demonstrations,
refurbishment of veterinary hospitals, and other support for the agricultural
USAID is focusing on ecosystem restoration and social and economic programs in
the southern marshlands that were decimated under the rule of Saddam Hussein. A
technical team from a coalition of international partners is assessing the
social and economic conditions in the marshes and are designing a long-term
strategy for economic and infrastructure development. Activities include
surveys, pilot sites, hydrological modeling, sampling soil, and water and
Humanitarian and Emergency Assistance
To date, USAID has provided more than $104 million in humanitarian assistance to
Iraq for coordination, health, nutrition, logistics, shelter, non-food items,
support to internally displaced people, and water and sanitation activities.
This has been accomplished through ongoing cooperative agreements with NGOs such
as the International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, CARE, Mercy
Corps, Save the Children, and World Vision.
Youth and Sports
USAID has awarded over 84 grants for youth and youth sports centers totaling
over $4.5 million dollars.
(end fact sheet)
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