Cablegate: National Development Plan Workshop: First Goi Interagency

DE RUEHGB #3025/01 3210607
R 170607Z NOV 09




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: National Development Plan Workshop: First GOI Interagency
Discussions of a Vision and Objectives


1. (SBU) Summary: At a November 5-8 workshop in Erbil, the Ministry
of Planning and Development Cooperation (MoPDC) briefed other GOI
ministries and the international community on progress on Iraq's
National Development Plan (NDP) for 2010-2014. The NDP is a
follow-on to the 2007-2010 National Development Strategy and is
conceived as the mechanism around which the GOI will plan its
national, sectoral, ministerial, and provincial development
strategies. Attendance by most GOI ministries at the workshop
demonstrated a clear interagency attempt to contribute to a shared
plan and vision for Iraq's future. However, donor partners remain
concerned as to how much long-term GOI support the NDP will enjoy
and how the plan will tie into the budget process. End Summary.

NDP Workshop: Introduction and Vision

2. (SBU) The National Development Plan (NDP) Workshop, held in Erbil
on November 5-8, focused on developing a vision and objectives for
the GOI's five-year development plan for 2010-2014. The NDP is
budgeted at $200 billion dollars. The NDP is a follow-on to the
2007-2010 National Development Strategy and is conceived as the
mechanism around which the GOI will plan its national, sectoral,
ministerial, and provincial development strategies. The Ministry of
Planning and Development Cooperation (MoPDC) is the lead GOI entity
for preparing the plan. The original schedule called for the NDP to
be published in final form in October 2009, but this deadline
appears to have been pushed back to at least December.

3. (SBU) During the workshop's opening speeches, MoPDC Minister Ali
Baban said Iraq needs to diversify its oil-dependent economy,
attract foreign investment, and develop its agricultural,
industrial, and hydrocarbon sectors. United Nations Population Fund
Country Representative George Georgi noted that the NDP sets an
agenda for the UN and Iraq to work together and opens the door for
cooperation with Iraq's partners. MoPDC Deputy Minister Sami Matti,
Head of the NDP technical committee, stated that the NDP must
include the private sector's contribution to infrastructure and
business development.

4. (SBU) MoPDC Chief of Staff Ahmed Alyassry told Econoff that he
anticipated that the first draft of the NDP would be finished by the
end of November and ready for submission to the Council of Ministers
by mid-December. He said the key issues of the workshop were to set
targets for the NDP, and discuss strategy.

NDP Objectives

5. (SBU) The NDP workshop examined a number of papers that outline
Iraq's development objectives by economic sector. In agriculture,
Iraq's objectives are to expand the sector's share in the economy
and address food security. Specifically, the draft NDP calls for
creating agriculture-related companies, increasing domestic
vegetable production, and reaching agreement with Iraq's neighbors
on sharing of water resources. Additionally on water resource
issues, the NDP goals are to build more dams, improve the country's
irrigation infrastructure, complete the drainage system, and
establish water rights.

6. (SBU) In the energy sector, the draft NDP's objectives are to
boost oil production from the current level of 2.5 million barrels
per day (mpd) to 4.5 million in 2014; raise oil refinery daily
capacity from 0.85 million barrels mpd to 1.45 million mpd in 2016;
reduce flared gas emissions; and raise crude oil storage capacity.
Qreduce flared gas emissions; and raise crude oil storage capacity.
Iraq's objectives in the electricity sector are to improve its
distribution of electricity and increase generation from 1,100
kilowatts per hour per capita (kw/hr) to 3,700 kw/hr, to address the
gap between demand and supply.

7. (SBU) In the industrial sector, Iraq's goals are to develop an
industrial labor force, rehabilitate state-owned enterprises and
factories that are "economically feasible," and establish financing
for the private sector. Transportation sector goals are to build
more roads, bridges, and highway networks around cities, develop its
railway network, and modernize harbors and airports to respectively
handle larger vessels and more air traffic. Communication sector
goals include expansion of the country's IT network, raising the
percentage of Iraqis who have access to the internet and own a cell
phone, and raising the per capita ratio of fixed-line telephones.

8. (SBU) Social objectives include developing a general strategy for
reforming laws related to women's rights to provide greater gender
equality in society. In the education sector, goals include
eradicating illiteracy and raising the percentage of children going
to primary school. In the health sector, objectives include raising

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the level of health for everyone and providing food safety. On
labor, the objective is to lower the unemployment rate from the
current 18 percent to seven percent.

Donor and UN reaction to NDP Workshop

9. (SBU) Comments at the workshop sessions highlighted the draft
NDP's strong economic bent, focusing on investment. UNDP officials
told Emboffs that the main contribution of the workshop was the
consultative process and for the MoPDC to "get buy-in" from other
GOI agencies. (Comment: The workshop's success in bolstering the
NDP support among the government agencies may depend on whether the
MoPDC incorporates suggestions from the line ministries into the
final draft of the NDP. End comment.) Several donor countries
commented that the funding of the NDP, which requires $200 billion
over five years, was not addressed at the conference. The GOI plans
to use $75-$100 billion in public funding, with the rest of the NDP
monies coming from private investment. Some workshop participants
expressed concern that Iraq's economic growth might not lead to the
amount of private investment needed for the plan. UN officials also
stressed the view that the NDP should include Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs) in its objectives for each sector. Other comments
during the workshop's concluding session noted that the NDP
objectives did not include the issues of governance, corruption, or
security - and that not addressing these issues would affect the
Plan's implementation. As a result, the MoPDC agreed to include a
chapter on Good Governance and also accepted the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) as a framework for social services

10. (SBU) MoPDC Deputy Minister Sami's concluding remarks noted that
his ministry is currently revising all technical sector papers,
taking input provided by various GOI agencies and donors at this
workshop. Sami added that the MoPDC will now use these revised
papers to produce a final NDP draft at the end of November. He
noted that the technical papers for the sectors of tourism, culture
and antiquities, the private sector, and housing and reconstruction
are still being revised. The MoPDC is also studying over 4,000
submitted projects, with plans to attach the selected projects to
the NDP for funding.

11. (SBU) The optics of GOI cooperation with the KRG were quite
positive. The KRG hosted the conference in Erbil and the new KRG
Minister of Planning, Dr. Ali Sindi, attended. KRG officials
participated constructively in many of the sessions.


12. (SBU) USAID - through its Tatweer project - has been
instrumental in helping the Government formalize and develop the
NDP. For the past 18 months, the USAID/Tatweer project has been
appointed by Minister Baban as the advisor for all technical
committees, and the project has provided critical assistance in
helping formalize and draft the NDP. During the preparatory phase
of the NDP, several Tatweer subject matter experts were provided to
support the development of this plan. During the conference, the
Tatweer project provided twenty advisors, who acted as main
facilitators for the various working groups. The technical papers
were reworked on a nightly basis by the project's staff in
preparation for the next day discussions at the conference. (The
Erbil conference logistics and costs were shared by the USG, the UN
and the GOI.)

13. (SBU) With the International Compact with Iraq (ICI) and the
International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) both
QInternational Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) both
winding down (septel), and with the GOI singularly focused on the
upcoming election and political transition, the UN and many other
international partners see the NDP as the most comprehensive
articulation of Iraq's development priorities. At the same time,
many partners remain concerned as to how much GOI interagency
support the NDP has, how it ties into the budget process, and how
the international partners can engage with the GOI on politically
sensitive topics such as governance and corruption. There is also
no clear indication as to the level of support the NDP will have in
the next administration after the election and the political will to
carry it forward. We will continue to closely monitor and support
all GOI efforts at articulating its development priorities - and
continue to work with the UN, World Bank, and other partners here in
supporting the GOI to implement those priorities.


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