Erbil Governor Nawzad Hadi. Photo: Rudaw TV
The Kurdistan Region is going to the Kuwait donor conference with a clear proposal to obtain funding for projects that have been prepared by the Ministry of Planning in consultation with the local governments of the Kurdish provinces, Erbil Governor Nawzad Hadi told Rudaw.
Hadi will attend the Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq, taking place February 12 – 14 as part of the KRG delegation that plans to present 80 proposals to governments and private investors.
The conference “focuses on investment, reconstruction, and coexistence,” he said, explaining that the Kurdistan Region delegation hopes to be successful in getting funding for their projects as a “beautiful and successful example of forgiveness and coexistence.”
Rudaw: How can the Kurdistan Region benefit from this conference to develop its provinces?
: Thank you very much. This conference, which is specific to developing the infrastructure of Iraq including the Kurdistan Region, following the completion of the war on ISIS terrorists, the international community, as a sign of support to Iraq, to areas which suffered substantially, and because the Kurdistan Region was at the forefront of defense and confrontation with ISIS terrorists. Meanwhile, the Kurdistan Region hosted over 1.8 million IDPs, which has abundantly affected the Kurdistan Region’s infrastructure and economy because it was part of the platform for ejecting ISIS. In the past and even now, the Kurdistan Region has had its own losses in this regard.
The conference being held in Kuwait is an important one. There are efforts to draw international attendance to it. The Kurdistan Region’s delegation will include ministers of planning and reconstruction representing all three provinces of Erbil, Sulaimani, and Duhok, including some technical delegations. We will try to ensure that some areas in the Kurdistan Region benefit from this, like
Kurdistan Region is a beautiful and successful example of forgiveness and coexistence
other places in Iraq.
Do you have coordination with the central government to present joint projects, or will each present its own project?
The coordination has been mainly through the Ministry of Planning. The coordination on how to work was between KRG, the planning ministry in Baghdad, and secretary general of Iraqi Council of Ministers. We, at the provincial level [worked] along with the investment body, development or infrastructure projects.
An important element in this conference is to develop coexistence and forgiveness. And the Kurdistan Region is a beautiful and successful example of forgiveness and coexistence of all refugees coming from different religious and national backgrounds. This is the third element of the conference, which is on developing this culture.
The conference focuses on investment, reconstruction, and coexistence. The political experience of Iraq has not been good in this respect. It was unfortunately bloody and violent. The successful example of coexistence which leads to more social reconciliation across Iraq, and this creates better conditions for development and stability for all people – and the Kurdistan Region is a good example in this regard.
We as the KRG delegations will present these real examples so that we can obtain a number of investment projects at this international conference for the benefit of the people of the Kurdistan Region.
What are the economic projects you have prepared?
investment projects include water, electricity, transportation, roads, health, and higher education
The investment projects include water, electricity, transportation, roads, health, and higher education. Many projects have been prepared in the area of industry and agriculture, so that international investors develop these areas.
Iraqi people have criticized Iraqi delegates, saying they are political figures that cannot present data. Have you as the KRG delegation taken this into consideration to include delegates who can present figures and statistics?
Sure. The delegates at ministry or provincial levels will deal with data and reality in the Kurdistan Region. They will be presenting the experience of the Kurdistan Region in its recent reconstruction projects in light of data. They will also discuss our needs according to the roadmap set for 2020 by the planning ministry, but that were prevented from being implemented because of financial, political, and military crises. Thus, the Kurdistan Region has produced its data properly.
Have you had coordination among yourselves as delegates to ensure the projects you have prepared reflect all provinces equally, including Halabja?
It is the planning ministry that supervises this within a program prepared in advance. The provinces took part in designing the strategic plan for 2020. Every province prepared its projects and submitted them to the Ministry of Planning that reviewed them. This subject has already been taken into account and orders have been ranked within the framework of the programs.
What kind of assistance for the Kurdistan Region are you expecting from this conference?
[Iraq] has included in their projects only the places that fall within the federal government
We will certainly be exerting our effort in the conference, but this finally depends on the readiness of the countries taking part in the conference to support the development of the infrastructure of Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region. The atmosphere of the conference, political situations in Iraq, and regional factors will have an impact on this.
It’s said that most projects concern Sunni and Shiite areas of Iraq. Have you raised any concerns about this to relevant parties?
These are the projects that the federal government has prepared for these places, and we as the KRG have prepared our own projects. We have raised these concerns to consulates. All these projects, including Iraqi and KRG ones, should have been prepared as one package and then declared. But they have included in their projects only the places that fall within the federal government. But we as the KRG delegation will be making an effort in this regard. We have raised our concerns to consulates and our friends.