Baghdad, Iraq, 29 March 2016 – The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group announced its strong commitment to work with Iraq’s government to develop an ambitious vision and tangible plans to advance the country and benefit its people.

“IDB wants to see the country’s economic growth back on track, decreasing its dependence on oil, focusing on agriculture and industry, and tackling unemployment,” said Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, IDB President.

Working together to build Iraq’s capabilities
Dr. Ali made his remarks in an address to the Iraqi parliament on Saturday 26 March during his visit to the region with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim. Dr. Ali said that the three organizations have agreed to work together to boost Iraq’s capabilities.

“Iraq needs support, using tools of modern development management, to achieve sustainable economic growth,” he said. “We will provide targeted expertise to help the country rebuild a resourceful economy in harmony with the global Sustainable Developments Goals.” This will also help bridge cooperation with neighboring countries, he added.

Building strong partnerships with IDB member countries
Dr. Ali affirmed IDB’s commitment to help Iraq build strong partnerships with member countries based on investment and the full use of Islamic finance. This will result in mutual economic benefits, which are the building blocks of growth.
The heads of the three organizations held a working session with Iraqi Prime Minister H.E. Haider al-Abadi, where they discussed various avenues for cooperation with Iraq. At the meeting, the Iraqi Prime Minister called on the IDB Group to contribute to efforts to reconstruct and rehabilitate conflict-afflicted regions in the country.

A commitment to Iraq and the Iraqi people
Dr. Ali noted that IDB, in collaboration with the Arab Coordination Group, the United Nations, the World Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the British Ministry for International Development, are working to increase their development assistance to Iraqi citizens. The assistance includes funding for basic services such as water and sanitation, power generation, education and health.
“IDB is committed to Iraq and the Iraqi people and we will work together with other international and Arabic development institutions to provide development assistance,” he said.
To date, IDB has funded Iraq’s development with US $551 million, covering infrastructure, basic services and trade finance.

Mobile clinics for primary healthcare services
Dr. Ali and the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, Mr. Ali Mohsen Ismail, who is also IDB Governor for Iraq, signed a US $300,000 grant agreement for launching mobile clinics to provide primary healthcare services in the country’s rural areas.

Reconstructing and rehabilitating the Kurdistan region
The delegation visited Iraq’s Kurdistan region and met with H.E. Masoud Barzani, President of the Iraqi Kurdistan region. They discussed how best to cooperate to develop the region and how to reconstruct and rehabilitate the liberated areas.
Dr. Ali stated that the joint visit aimed to confirm the international community’s support for the region as it faces many challenges, including the refugees and the displaced.