USAID Opens Shawakeh Fish Market to Attract Businesses, Restore Stability

For Immediate Release

Friday, February 20, 2009
USAID Press Office

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Karkh District Council, neighborhood councils, and the U.S. military, opened the Al Shawakeh Fish Market today to stimulate employment and business opportunities in the community.

In his remarks at the opening, USAID Deputy Mission Director Thomas R. Delaney said, "The revival of this market shows how committed the Iraqis are in seeing their economy-and people-recover and grow." He also said he hoped that the market will be seen as a center of community pride and prosperity

USAID began rebuilding the fish market in early 2008 through the Community Stabilization Program (CSP) after repeated insurgent-lead attacks. The goal of CSP is to help create an environment for stability and establish the necessary conditions for long-term development to take hold in violence-affected areas. USAID's market revitalization efforts include rebuilding damaged shops and surrounding streets and sidewalks. The project created immediate short-term jobs for unemployed laborers.

USAID's partner, International Relief and Development (IRD), met with vendors, the local community and the district and neighborhood councilmen to seek their input on the layout and design of the market. Iraqi representatives of IRD worked closely with the embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team, the U.S. Military, and the Karkh community to complete the $227,489 USAID-funded project.

Twelve local construction workers fixed the inner-yard of the market, constructed new stalls, and upgraded the water, sewer and electrical networks. The new market has a cold-storage facility, trash dumpsters, and more space for loading and unloading of produce, fish, and meats. The market comprises 40 small, family-owned restaurants, fish and vegetable markets, book kiosks and shops.

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.

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