Top Ten US Accomplishments in Iraq
America's accomplishments in Iraq are phenomenal. Unfortunately, the naysayers and scalawags are still critical of our mission and the positive outcomes. The following is a sample of America's accomplishment from the Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
Agency for International Development
December 7, 2005
Top Ten USAID Strategic Accomplishments in Iraq
Press Office: 202-712-4320
Public Information: 202-712-4810
1. Improving Primary Health Care: USAID is helping strengthen essential primary health care services throughout Iraq.
* In 2005 alone, USAID-supported emergency campaigns immunized 98 percent of Iraqi children between 1-5 years old (3.62 million) against measles, mumps, and rubella,
* Also in 2005, USAID immunized 97 percent of Iraqi children under five (4.56 million) against polio.
* In all, USAID partners have trained more than 2,500 primary health care workers to expand access to essential primary health care services.
2. Expanding Access to Electricity: In 2002, Baghdad had access to electricity 24 hours a day; the rest of Iraq was limited to 3-6 hours.
* Currently, all 18 governorates receive nearly 14 hours of electricity daily, an incredible improvement for a country emerging from decades of conflict and little investment.
* USAID efforts have added 1,400 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity to the national electrical grid, expanding access to 4.2 million Iraqis throughout most of Iraq.
3. Providing Potable Water: Many parts of Iraq had no access to or provision of clean potable water. Indeed many of Iraq's waterways were contaminated with refuse and sewage.
* Over 4 million Iraqis who had no clean drinking water in 2002 now have safe, potable water piped to their homes following USAID efforts to refurbish water treatment plants in 15 cities.
* USAID is also providing plant-level operations and maintenance (O&M) training at major water and wastewater plants nationwide to ensure that these plants remain functioning.
4. Restoring Sewage Systems: Before 2003, Iraq's cities suffered from inadequate sewage systems; backed up sewage created pools in neighborhoods or emptied directly into nearby rivers.
* Today, USAID's rehabilitated sewage treatment plants throughout Iraq process a total of 339.7 million gallons daily.
* These plants alone provide 7.2 million urban Iraqis - over a quarter of the national population - access to functioning, waterborne sewage, greatly improving sanitation and contributing to a decrease in waterborne disease.
5. Improving Local Governance and Community Development: Iraqi democracy must prove itself through service delivery and community-based solutions to local problems.
* With USAID assistance, representative provincial and municipal governments are more capable of delivering essential services to their constituents.
* Countrywide, more than 670 community action groups focused on civic education, women's advocacy, and anti-corruption have been supported by USAID.
* Working through local NGOs, USAID has implemented 4,672 quick impact projects throughout Iraq, providing short-term employment and restoration of basic services.
6. Connecting Iraq to the Global Economy: The private sector is the engine for sustainable job creation and economic growth. To help guide policy reform, USAID's Investor Roadmap analyzes constraints to investment.
* Iraq's Investment Promotion Agency was recently established with USAID assistance, and will serve as a resource to international investors.
* USAID worked with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to develop a Competitiveness Study, helping integrate efforts to create a robust private sector that fosters job creation.
* USAID programs assist Iraq's MoF, Central Organization for Statistics and Information Technology (COSIT), and Iraq's Central Bank in meeting their International Monetary Fund (IMF) requirements. This $19 million technical assistance effort is expected to return to Iraq $480 million in the IMF Standby Agreement by December 2005 as well as debt forgiveness of $27 billion from the Paris Club by March 2006.
* Working with the MoF, USAID introduced the new dinar currency to promote national unity and a sound functioning monetary policy. Currently, 4.62 trillion new Iraqi dinars are in circulation in Iraq.
7. Expanding Political Inclusion and Expression: USAID assistance has helped prepare Iraq for two national elections, numerous provincial and municipal elections, and the Constitutional Referendum of October 15.
* In preparation for the January 2005 election, USAID helped the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) establish a voter registration system, and worked with the UN on improving balloting procedures.
* USAID-supported NGOs distributed election materials, helped televise debates, and led over 22,000 town meetings to educate Iraqi voters.* USAID and a local NGO trained over 8,000 election monitors.
* Current efforts are preparing 15,000 elections monitors for the December 15, 2005 elections.
8. Supporting the New Iraqi Constitution: The January 2005 Interim Government election put into place a National Assembly to frame a constitution emphasizing democracy and the rule of law. - UPDATE: The election was the most successful in Iraqi history with a wide plurality of voters swamping the polls and virtually no violence.
* USAID partners provided constitutional specialists to the Drafting Committee while input from over 111,000 national surveys kept the Committee in touch with national sentiment.
* The Iraqi Women's National Coalition, supported by USAID, developed a 10-point statement adopted in the constitution.
* A USAID-supported NGO televised debates and distributed information. Nearly 9,500 monitors, trained by USAID partners, helped ensure a successful constitutional referendum.
9. Transforming Primary Education: USAID assistance has helped Iraq move away from rote learning methodology in decrepit, unsanitary classrooms to interactive learning in rehabilitated buildings,
* Since 2003, USAID has rehabilitated nearly 3,000 schools.
* Over 20 million new textbooks have been supplied by USAID (8.6 million) and UNESCO (12 million).
* By 2006, more than 133,000 primary school teachers - a third of Iraq's educators in all - will have received training and technical assistance.
* Already, the most recent primary school enrollment numbers show a 19 percent increase from pre-war levels.
10. Restoring Excellence in Higher Education: The USAID Higher Education and Development (HEAD) Program brings together five American and 10 Iraqi universities to help reestablish academic excellence in Iraq's higher education system.
* Since January 2004, more than 1,500 Iraqi faculty and students have participated in workshops, trainings, conferences, and courses in Iraq, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States.
* University facilities -libraries, computer and science laboratories, lecture halls, and buildings - have been rehabilitated at colleges throughout the country.
* A mini-grant program supports new, innovative research throughout the country. In addition, books and electronic resources have been provided to university libraries.
I cannot let naysayers and scalawags continue to downplay our accomplishments. Brave and dedicated men and women serving America in Iraq have sacrificed and have given their all to this mission. And, to minimize their individual and collective efforts is scandalous. Only a mean spirited and unscrupulous rascal would be so brazen to disparage American's good work. I salute our men and women in Iraq. God bless America.
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