Iraq Development Advances Despite Concerns
Development of urgently required urban infrastructure in all of Iraq's provinces is being pushed despite world-wide projections about corruption and security in the wake of the US-troops pullout. Dr. Thair Feely, Director of the Baghdad Investment Commission, addressed the issue of security in a live interview made public on YouTube.
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"There is a big misconception regarding security, yes there are problems but it is nothing compared to the past. In the past we had a huge security issue but now things have changed. I would say now there is a reduced security problem. We have a strong security force and incidents have all but finished. Corruption is another issue which media has not rightly covered. In the past, the government was weak, but now the government is strong, with transparency and accountability paramount, especially given the international coverage even the smallest issue on corruption is given."
With billions of dollars already set aside for the development of 5 million new homes within the staggering timeline of under 3 years, the pressure to make construction a priority is not only immediate but necessary to ensure continued stability throughout the region.
Iraq's government - whether outgoing or incumbent - has pledged to eradicate corruption or security issues that could complicate the tender and project process through its continued relationships with and reliance on foreign corporation expertise.
"We have many companies operating here, local companies, but we need international expertise. Specialised companies need to come into Iraq and partner with local firms so that their collective expertise of local best practice and international standards can be put to maximum use. We have contracts, plans and the budget to develop but we need this expertise." said Dr. Feely.
The video went live on YouTube after organizers at the Iraq Housing Development Summit released it to the public as a call for action to international contractors. The International Quality & Productivity Centre, the company behind the Summit, recorded the interview to put an end to the confusion rampant in the media regarding Iraq's corruption and security issues. The Summit takes place in November in Amman, Jordan, with participants including Nouri Al-Maliki, Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq.