Iraqi Infrastructure Gets Major Boost- Electricity Situation Improves- 33 Schools Built

33 Schools Built- 48 apartment buildings, schools, commercial buildings and parking lots completed in Baghdad- Electricity situation improves

Capt. Ian Lauer finds things peaceful enough to drop his guard and photograph a group of children on the road he patrols. (Der Spiegel)

Capt. Ian Lauer on patrol with a friendly Iraqi in a safer Ramadi: “Now peace has broken out. And that’s f***ing great!” (Der Spiegel)

The following is the translation by Iraqi-American Haider Ajina of an article from Iraq’s Buratha News of 8/23/07

Large Iraqi Government Plans to Rebuild 15 Provinces
Iraqi Government implements a fifteen province construction & development Plan

The government is in the midst of implementing a privatization and rebuilding plan. This is a two prong plan. Iraqi PM Almaliki directed his deputy Dr. Barham Saleh and his treasury minister Jeber Alzubeidi to implement this plan in fifteen provinces. This was reported by Abdulah Albendar economic advisors to the PM. The Iraqi PM announced in a meeting earlier that Iraqis will whiteness a building and development revolution in all of Iraq. Our citizens will witness tremendous progress in quality and quantity of services in the near future.

Albendar said in an interview to Alsabah: ‘The implementation of the plan has been on two simultaneous fronts. The first one is implementing wide ranging budgeted reconstruction projects in 15 provinces. These projects have been developed and coordinated with the elected provincial councils and governors. The second front is implemented through the privatization program set in place by the planning ministry. Dialha province council for example has announced last week that reconstruction has started after the province has been cleansed from terrorist elements.

Albendar added the Government plan is to rebuild provincial infrastructure to provide public services to our citizens. The plan also encourages local and national privatization by fostering an atmosphere promoting such activity. This will reduce unemployment, which is one of the government’s main objectives. The plan includes projects for building Hospitals, Schools, repair, reinforce and build new bridges, fix and build roads, potable water projects, electricity generation and grid improvement, effluent treatment, building factories.

The Iraqi treasury has allocated eleven billion dollars for supporting the privatization program. The plan has also set a dead line of having most of these projects started before the end of the year. Albendar continued, ‘citizens will feel the improvement in services with in three months’. Kurdistan however, is not included in this plan, since it receives 17% of the countries total revenues and it has its own ministries and development programs. This plan will also include programs for those forced to move, displaced and refugees.

In an effort to revitalize the Iraqi economy, which will positively effect Iraq’s overall situation, the industries ministry made 1300 business loans. These loans were for small and medium industrial projects in and around Baghdad. These loans are 10-25 million Iraqi Dinars each not to exceed 2% interest or 4 years.

The ministry of building and housing has built 33 schools in a number of provinces. These schools are part of a group of 70 elementary schools planned in various areas. This ministry has also completed 80% of housing project ‘Sebaa Ibkar’ in Baghdad. This project contains 48 apartment buildings, schools, commercial buildings and parking lots.

Iraqis in Baghdad celebrate the country’s semifinal victory over Australia in the Asian Cup semifinals in late July… (Der Spiegel)

Haider Ajina comments on the latest developments:

News of improving infrastructure, economy, employment etc. is beginning to appear in European newspapers and magazines. The German magazine ‘Der Spiegel’ sent one of it correspondents Ullrich Fichtner , and photographer Tina Hager, to Iraq for three weeks to research the SPIEGEL cover story published on August 10th.. The link HERE will take you directly to the eight page article:

Last week the French sent government officials to Iraq to strengthen ties and drum up business and show support.

The electricity situation in Iraq is also improving.

The demand (for electricity) has increased more than 70 percent since 2004 because the people of Iraq are purchasing more energy intensive products like air conditioners, refrigerators, computers and other electronic devices, and that is good. U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh said in a press conference on August 23. He added, ‘The goal is to have an equitable distribution of power across Iraq. Although Baghdad is receiving less power now then it did before the war, the rest of Iraq is getting more. Power distribution centers across Iraq are becoming operational. A power plant in Daura recently became fully operational for the first time since 2001. A gas turbine plant in Musayyib will be operational within months providing another 400 megawatts of electricity for the Iraq power grid, Walsh said. At the same conference Dr. Karim Walid, the Iraqi Minister of Electricity, said The Ministry of Electricity plans to allocate $40 million a year for the next four years. The ministry plans to repair existing power plants and build other plants across Iraq. Power plants in Hurriyah, Al-Kudis and al-Telgi will be rebuilt and a plant will be placed in Nasariyah, he added. “Iraq needs approximately 9,500 megawatts. We will reach 5,400 megawatts in the next few months.” Walid said. This goes hands in hand with the increased security along the oil pipe lines in Iraq.

Much of this progress is due to the sacrifices, back breaking work and tireless efforts of our men and women serving in Iraq and the dedicated Iraqis willing and ready to step up and take charge.

We are creating the breathing room to allow the Iraqis to take over their affairs in an ever increasing fashion.

Haider Ajina

Related… Powerline posts Vets for Fre
response to a previous NYT editorial against the war- via Instapundit.

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