Palestine bridge, one of the biggest bridges in Anbar is now open for people after being extremely damaged by ISIL. Photo: UNDP Iraq/Mohammed Albahbahanee/2020.

 

Baghdad, 25 February 2020 –The Government of Iraq re-opened today two major infrastructure projects in Ramadi following their rehabilitation by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The re-opening of Ramadi Maternity Hospital and the Palestine Bridge marks a significant moment for the recovery of the city after years of ISIL occupation.

Ramadi Maternity Hospital is a large, 260 bed, modern medical facility – one that will provide over 400,000 women in Anbar with specialized maternity services. As the only such facility in Anbar, the hospital will serve women from areas as far away as Heet, Haditha, Anah, Rawa and Al Qaim. UNDP carried out major work at the hospital, including the rehabilitation of operating theatres, labour wards, water and electrical systems and doctor’s accommodation.

“Today marks an important day for Ramadi. After many difficult years, this great city is back on its feet. Access to healthcare is one of the foundations of strong societies, and UNDP is proud to be working to improve health services across the areas that suffered under ISIL with the support of our generous donors”, says UNDP’s Resident Representative in Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad.

The rehabilitation of the hospital was funded through a significant contribution by the Federal Republic of Germany, through KfW Development Bank.

“On behalf of the German Government KfW Development Bank is proud to finance a host of projects in Iraq. Projects range from the rehabilitation of basic and critical infrastructure including hospitals, electricity, roads and bridges, to support for small and medium enterprises and assistance to livelihoods”, said KfW Country Director, Dr. Anna-Christine Janke.

The nearby Palestine Bridge also suffered extensive damage during the battle to dislodge ISIL, and several of its parts were either partially damaged or completely destroyed. As the largest bridge in Anbar, it spans over 500m and measures three lanes wide on each side. The complex rehabilitation of the bridge was undertaken by UNDP, beginning in 2018.

“Bridges don’t just connect roads; they connect people and communities. This bridge serves as critical passageway for residents of Ramadi and an integral gateway to Greater Anbar. UNDP’s commitment to restoring these vital pieces of infrastructure is clear, with 11 bridges across Anbar now completed”, adds Ms. Ali Ahmad.

At the request of the Government of Iraq, UNDP established the Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) in June 2015 to facilitate the return of displaced Iraqis, lay the groundwork for reconstruction and recovery, and safeguard against the resurgence of violence. Based on priorities identified by the Government of Iraq, FFS helps quickly repair essential public infrastructure, boosts the capacity of local government, provides short-term employment opportunities and helps to build cohesive communities.

To date, UNDP’s Funding Facility has completed more than 2,300 projects in key critical areas of Anbar, Salah al-Din, Diyala, Kirkuk and Ninewa.

 

For additional information, please contact:

Mr. Eoin O Cathasaigh, Communications Specialist, FFS

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