US officials in Erbil reveal $160 million Iraqi Governance Performance and Accountability Program


nsnbc : US Ambassador to Iraq, Douglas Siliman and US State Department official John Lister held a joint press conference with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, revealing the $160 million Iraqi Governance Performance and Accountability (IGPA) program. The program is aiming to help the Kurdistan Regional Government meet the needs of its people through better governance and delivery of services.

US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman, KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, and US State Department official John Lister speak at a joint press conference in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, on March 12, 2018. Photo courtesy Rudaw TV

US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman, KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, and US State Department official John Lister speak at a joint press conference in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, on March 12, 2018. Photo courtesy Rudaw TV

“This program helps the government of Kurdistan better manage its money, better determine how services are provided and monitor whether the services are being delivered,” said Silliman at the joint press conference in Erbil on Monday. The IGPA project is funded by USAID. Ambassador Siliman explained the program is designed to help the government of Kurdistan better manage its money, deliver, and monitor those services. “The IGPA represents the ongoing efforts by the United States to assist the people of Kurdistan,” added Silliman.

US State Department official John Lister will direct the USAID program. He called the implementation of the KRG biometric system an “effective” step, adding that “we intend to build on [such steps] in the future.”

“It will be implemented throughout Iraq and focus on the following areas: providing assistance to the national, to the regional, and provincial governments of Iraq to improve service delivery outcomes, training civil servants on the best practices on public financial management, and involving civil society in decisions about service delivery to make sure of fair and equitable distribution,” said Lister.

Kurdistan Regional Government Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani said he hopes “to build on already strong ties that exist between us,” noting that US aid to the KRG dates back to humanitarian and military assistance starting in 1991. Talabani expressed that such a program “supports ongoing reform” priorities in the KRG such as the biometric registration system and reform in general.  “Also it will provide support to improving the standard and quality of services that we provide to our citizens to reduce the level of bureaucracy…” said Talabani.

The program will also focus on “decentralization administratively and fiscally” in the KRG. “This has long been a priority of ours,” said Talabani who was asked about KRG administration in the disputed or Kurdistani areas claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad.  “The KRG is not active in the disputed areas … they are controlled by the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF),” said Talabani. “This is why we’ve asked for the implementation of Article 140.”

The US State Department’s Lister elaborated that safety was a concern for diplomats implementing such projects in the disputed areas of Nineveh, Kirkuk, and Saladin provinces. “The security circumstances and so forth didn’t allow us to work, to implement a program like IGPA there,” said Lister. The US State Department previously has said such areas, according to the Iraqi constitution, “remain disputed.” The IGPA program has opened offices in Baghdad, Basra, and now in Erbil.

F/AK – nsnbc 13.03.2018



Source Article from https://nsnbc.me/2018/03/13/us-officials-in-erbil-reveal-160-million-iraqi-governance-performance-and-accountability-program/

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