Iraqi government signs three agreements with United Nations

Universal education for Iraqi children is one of the priorities of the agreements. [Mushtaq Muhammad / Reuters]

Universal education for Iraqi children is one of the priorities of the agreements. [Mushtaq Muhammad / Reuters]

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The Iraqi government signed three memoranda of understanding with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Program and the United Nations Population Fund on Monday (March 14th).

The memoranda include economic development projects, projects for the wellbeing of children and mothers, and programs for developing Iraqi government institutions.

The three UN agencies agreed to support the Iraqi government's development agenda over the next four years at an estimated cost of $600 million.

Shaheed Sabr, deputy director of the National Center for Technical Consultancy and Management at the Iraqi Ministry of Planning, said signing these agreements "reflects the extent of the United Nations' interest in continuing engagement with the Iraqi people and its commitment to protection and development".

During a recent meeting with UN Special Representative for Iraq Ad Melkert, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki asked the United Nations to assist the country in rebuilding ministries and institutions by providing expertise.

Sabr told Mawtani that the UN projects will include an integrated program to train Iraqi officials on development and administration at various government ministries and institutions, in addition to helping to conduct the census in Iraq.

"Assistance in conducting the census will be a real foundation for determining the size of the Iraqi population, population centers, youth, the workforce and the true rate of unemployment, which will enable us to chart a correct economic policy," Sabr said.

Osama al-Khoja, deputy envoy of UNICEF in Iraq, said the organization's agreement with the Iraqi government covers several areas, including protecting children's lives and health, improving water and sewage treatment, and securing high-quality and universal education.

"The current plan focuses on needier children in remote areas not reached by services, where [the UN] will work with the Iraqi government to determine which areas are more in need of services and how to reach them," al-Khoja said.

Sana Majeed al-Dabbagh, representative of the Arab Children's Fund in Baghdad, said the importance of the memoranda are clear, and the evidence of which would become apparent in the coming months, especially in remote areas of Iraq.

"The issue of children in Iraq, caring for them and fighting illiteracy represent an important step in building a strong, solid Iraq," she said.

Ghifran Malik, 41, a teacher in Baghdad, said, "Caring for children, providing them with housing, fighting illiteracy and developing the work of the ministries are all services that the Iraqi government must provide. When it needs help, it must ask for assistance from international organizations."

"Signing these memoranda is an important step and a great accomplishment presented by the world community to the Iraqis. Iraqis are fighting terrorism on behalf of the world, and this is the least the UN can provide for us," she said.

Baghdad resident Muhanned Abdul Razak, 35, said the UN support makes Iraqis feel like they are not alone.

"This support makes us feel that we are not alone in our war against terrorism and that the world community stands by us," he said.

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  • READER COMMENTS

    احمد شاكر

    2011-8-8

    Surely, those notes are a required and positive step and they should be reaped and implemented as they are very useful and in various fields, and all these fields have a great benefit because they will provide a greater service to the Iraqi citizen and we should have worked according to these notes a bit earlier. In general, I support this step, and the United Nations should have a great role in supporting Iraq, its government and people, and stand with it in everything that the country is going through. Moreover, the greatest possible effort should be allocated to advancing Iraq and developing all the important fields in the country, like education, health and the other projects, because they are important projects and we know that Iraq is suffering in terms of the health field from many shortcomings as well as from the deteriorated status of education in the country, in addition to the servicing aspects and providing services. The United Nations should cooperate with Iraq in all these fields, so as to extricate it from those crises and difficulties because they are many and they need various agreements to be signed that include the support of Iraq. I think that, regarding these notes, if there is serious implementation of the agreements that are signed now between the Iraqi government and the United Nations and if they are acted upon with credibility, we will observe a great advancement and development in the country in these important sectors, like education, health and the services sectors. This will change a lot of matters in the country and the status of the country will rise up to an advanced stage. The United Nations has helped many countries before and Iraq is still a member in the United Nations, and it is the duty of the United Nations to support it like the other countries that pass through crises, and provide it a helping hand in all forms and various ways.

  • منتصر عبدالعزيز

    2011-8-7

    Through this memo, the United Nations, or UN, will play a great and important role in making the sector of education and health successful, because of the experience the UN has. This is what we hope for, because this understanding memo is one of the steps that will change much of the reality of the health and education sector, through the support that Iraq will receive from the UN.

  • سهيل نجم عبد

    2011-7-26

    We are delighted by the fact that the Iraqi government has signed Memorandums of Understanding, MOUs, with the United Nations, and we hope that these MOUs will continue to be implemented in Iraq in order to effect change in the country so that it can join the ranks of the rest of the developed countries, and in order that the Iraqi individual will not feel like he is a lesser human being that does not enjoy any rights. Frankly, these MOUs were what the Iraqi people needed, because they are in a very difficult situation, and they need to have change and development in various areas, such health and education, as it is necessary to think about the future of Iraq, and improve and develop the current conditions. Also, we need to have experts working on the improvement of the living conditions of the Iraqi citizens. Currently, the Iraqi government has signed three MOUs with the United Nations for a four-year duration, and these MOUs will benefit Iraq in a general manner, and in particular with regard to the areas covered by the MOUs, such as economic development projects in Iraq, and health and education projects, and childcare and pregnancy, because these are the most affected areas in Iraq. The signing of these MOUs constitutes an important step and a great accomplishment by the International Community for Iraqis. As is well known, Iraq has been the target of numerous terrorist attacks that have resulted in the destruction and devastation of all of its infrastructure. As such, these MOUs are the least that the International Community can offer to the Iraqis, who are fighting terrorism on behalf of the world, and Iraq is in need of a comprehensive renaissance in all areas, in addition to a program for enhancing governmental institutions so that peace and stability can once again be established in Iraq.

  • نورس حبيب

    2011-7-26

    I wish cooperation between the UN and Iraq would return to the way it was in the 1980s.

  • منير فارس

    2011-5-22

    The deal has been made and four agreements were signed with the UN for four years, in order to carry out economic development projects and projects caring for children and mothers. The UN wants to help all children and mothers because it cares for them. There are development programs for the Iraqi state institutions. All these issues are important, so that Iraq would return to what it has been before and move forward. This is one of the great and very clever ideas. The Iraqi government has to also care for this important issue because it brings goodness and good luck to Iraq and Iraqis. These agreements are important and are in the best interest of Iraq. These four years will be some of the best years for Iraq and Iraqis.

  • شفيق عاصي

    2011-5-21

    It is very important think about the future of Iraq and to improve its situation. There should be experts working on improving the conditions that concern the Iraqi citizens. The four memorandums that were signed with the United Nations could have positive effects on the issues agreed upon, such as the economic development projects in Iraq, childhood and motherhood projects, and the program of the development of Iraqi governmental institutions. All people must consider the country’s interest first, because all of us want the good of this country. We also hope to stabilize the situation and to spread safety again in Iraq. For this reason, it is necessary to start signing contracts with companies and start working for the sake of Iraq and Iraqis’ interests. We should have faithful and honest people who will work effectively and appropriately, and serve Iraq and Iraqis’ interests. We should cooperate with all countries that want to contract with Iraq, and this is what we wish, God willing. May God help all those who are spreading goodness to make Iraqis happy. They have suffered from many hardships, such as vandalism and destruction carried out by terrorist bandits. Thus, it is high time to start improvements again, stop what happened in the past and put together new plans, in order to build a new Iraq.

  • عزام عبدالحميد

    2011-5-19

    Frankly speaking, this is what we needed, because the situation for children in Iraq is difficult. They are in need of special care, education and supervision. The same goes for women, who suffer from a similar bad status since the era of Saddam who denied them their rights. Even today, they are suffering a lot, despite the government’s effort to give a role to women. There are many governmental institutions that have been established, but because of lack of experience, ineffective planning and a disregard of the governing laws, these bodies are not working effectively. For this reason, they should be developed so as to provide better services to Iraqis. I think that these agreement will have an important role in the mentioned fields, especially since the United Nations is an international organization known for the experience it has in these fields. These fields are among its most important fields of work. The situations of children, mothers and the economy will improve, in order to get rid of the issue of unemployment. The most important thing is to improve services provided by governmental institutions and to follow modern methods, in order to eradicate any type of corruption.

  • ليلى

    2011-5-8

    We are very pleased with these constructive steps, and I wish that we could continue in this luminous way, to change the reality and to cope with the rest of the world, rather than feeling that we are remnants of human beings that breathe.

  • زيدان سعيد

    2011-4-15

    I am grateful to the UN for what they have provided and are still providing to Iraq. The day will come when Iraq returns this aid to the international community and helps those who need help.

  • وردة

    2011-4-12

    It is a beautiful website. May God grant you success!