Final Statement of Eleventh IRFFI Donor Committee Meeting
Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission, Baghdad, Iraq
14 June 2011
The International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) Donor Committee held its Eleventh meeting in Baghdad on 14 June 2011. The Chair of the IRFFI Donor Committee welcomed the representatives from the Government of Iraq including Mr. Thamir Al-Ghadban of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission and Dr. Sami Metti, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Planning (MoP), the United Nations (UN) including Ms. Christine McNab, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General in Iraq/UN Resident Coordinator and Mr. Bisrat Aklilu, Executive Coordinator, UNDP Multi-Donor Trust Fund Office as well as Ms. Marie-Hélène Bricknell, Iraq World Bank (WB) Special Representative, and the donor community.
In his opening remarks as Chair of the IRRFI Donor Committee, Deputy Head of Mission, Royal Danish Embassy, Mr. Henrik Westerby, commented that the Government of Iraq has effectively worked with many donors through the IRFFI mechanism, and acknowledged the lead role of the MoP in coordination of donor assistance. The Chair commented on the progress that both the UN and the WB are making in the final stages of IRFFI implementation. He stressed the importance of continued collaboration to sustain and preserve the good practices and strong partnerships that have been in place and asked for support for the new structures that are being established to ensure stronger government ownership and leadership in the future.
Dr. Sami Metti, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Planning (MoP), expressed the Iraqi government’s appreciation to the IRFFI Donor Committee for its work and noted the lead role the MoP has played in the coordination of international assistance to Iraq. He noted the importance of the IRFFI and its achievements and results in terms of partnerships and coordination with the international community. Dr. Metti further noted the Government of Iraq’s decision to provide co-financing for UN implemented activities and his expectation that it will prompt additional future donor support.
In her opening remarks Ms. Christine McNab, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General in Iraq and UN Resident Coordinator, commented that the IRRFI continues to contribute to Iraq’s development despite the fact that it is closed for funding new projects. She elaborated that 64 projects continue to be implemented and therefore the IRFFI Donor Committee will need to continue its work until such time that the UNDG ITF is closed. Ms. McNab explained that 2011 marks the first year of UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) implementation, which is 27 percent funded based on the remaining balance of UNDG ITF funded projects that are contributing to UNDAF priorities, bilateral funding and UN agencies core resources.. She further elaborated that the new Iraq UNDAF Fund has been established and expressed appreciation to the IRFFI Donor Committee for its support in approving the transfer of interest and returned funds from the UNDG ITF to the new Fund. As a successor to the UNDG ITF, the Iraq UNDAF Fund has been developed using lessons under the UNDG ITF.
Donors welcomed the UNDG Iraq Trust Fund (UNDG ITF) and World Bank Iraq Trust Fund (WB ITF) annual progress reports. Mr. Bisrat Aklilu, Executive Coordinator, UNDP’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund Office (MDTF Office) presented the 2010 Annual UNDG ITF Progress Report to the IRFFI Donor Committee. As of the 31 December 2010, it was shown that the UNDG ITF total gross donor deposits amounted to US$1.36 billion with an additional $74 million in Fund and Agency earned interest income reported bringing the total UNDG ITF portfolio to $1.43 billion. In 2010, a total of US$108.03 million was approved for 28 new projects and joint programmes (JPs). As of 31 December 2010, the final UNDG ITF portfolio stood at 200 projects and JPs for a total of $1.43 billion. The approved funding that is legally committed by Participating UN Organizations amounts to US$1.20 billion (89 percent), while the net disbursed funding is US$1.34 million. Of the 200 approved projects and Joint Programmes (JPs), it was confirmed that 93 were operationally closed (46.5%) and 43 (21.5%) were financially closed. The IRFFI Donor Committee was informed that based on its previous approval to transfer all remaining interest and unspent UNDG ITF funds to the Iraq UNDAF Fund, a total of $2.64 million was transferred to the new Fund, while $2.08 million was returned to the European Commission (EC) and $35,017 to Germany based on the respective donor requests to return unused funds. The progress
update presented highlights of the contributions and achievements toward Sector outcomes aimed at strengthening government capacity across government ministries and improve livelihoods through health, education and private sector programming.
The World Bank Special Representative to Iraq, Ms. Marie-Hélène Bricknell, presented the WB ITF 2010 Annual Progress report to the members of the IRFFI Donor Committee. The WB ITF is valued at US$575 million – US$494.4 million in donor deposits plus US$80.5 million of investment income. As of December 31, 2010, the WB ITF had financed 24 projects valued at US$528.7 million. Of these, five projects have been completed, while nineteen projects are currently under implementation (valued at US$439.4 million). These comprise five technical assistance (TA) projects executed by the WB at government request (totaling US$25 million) and 14 recipient-executed operations (amounting to US$414.4 million). The WB informed the Donor Committee that GHK Consulting was selected to carry out an independent review of the WB ITF that is scheduled for completion in September 2011.
The MDTF Office and the WB informed the IRFFI Donor Committee that IRFFI closure benchmarks were on track. Donors were additionally informed that the final Lessons Learned Exercise (LLE) report will be completed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), by the end of June 2011 and disseminated to the IRFFI Donor Committee for review and discussion.
The date of the Twelfth Donor Committee meeting will be discussed at a later date.