USAID Forum Advances Dialogue on Iraq's Five-Year National Development Plan

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, May 20, 2009
USAID Press Office

BAGHDAD - Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Rafie al-Issawi, Minister of Planning Dr. Ali Baban and U.S. Agency for International Development's Acting Mission Director Thomas R. Delaney opened a two-day conference to discuss the prospects for sustained development of Iraq under the Five-Year National Development Plan (NDP).

The conference, held at the Al Rasheed Hotel in Baghdad, brought together various ministries and elected officials from the provincial councils for the first time to formulate policy options, program priorities and implementation strategies for the NDP, spanning 2010 through 2014. The planning process is important because it is participatory and inclusive involving constituents in key sectors of the economy to identify the problems they face and to suggest solutions.

The USAID-funded National Capacity Development program, or "Tatweer," works with 10 Iraqi ministries and executive offices to improve overall institutional performance and introduce international best practices. The program is assisting the MoPDC to reintroduce medium-term strategic planning by the adoption of a participatory approach. In the past two years, USAID/Tatweer has trained more than 70,000 Iraq government officials in strategic planning, human resources, financial management, and project management.

The planning document represents the views and efforts of 20 line ministry members and MoPDC officials, who worked together in 10 committees assisted by MoPDC. The committee members articulated the main development goals in 15 sectors, including agriculture, housing, and private sector. Overall, the plan aims to promote economic growth that is equitable and sustainable, improving the well-being of Iraqis.

Minister of Planning Dr. Baban said, "Investment and productivity are the cornerstones of the plan. These two words represent our call to build a new Iraq, and we can overcome our economic problems only through patience, sacrifice, and hard decisions."

USAID Iraq Acting Director Thomas R. Delaney said, "The conference offers an excellent opportunity to engage with the different levels of government to jointly shape a plan that will reflect the vision and aspirations of the Iraqis." He said the outcome of the discussions at the conference will help strengthen the ongoing efforts of the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement to build a prosperous, diversified, growing Iraqi economy that is integrated into the global economic system and meets the essential service needs of the Iraqi people.

Since 2003, USAID has invested more than $6 billion on programs designed to stabilize communities; foster economic and agricultural growth; and build the capacity of the national, local, and provincial governments to respond to the needs of the Iraqi people.

For more information about USAID programs, please visit our website at The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.