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Last Updated:  Thursday, 27 March, 2003, 13:51 GMT
The agenda for rebuilding Iraq
Destroyed school in Basra
Iraqi officials showed journalists a destroyed school in Basra
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is co-ordinating plans for rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure and public facilities after the war.

The value of contracts awarded is expected to be about $1bn (636m).

The following is an edited version of the agenda of work.

The contractor will assure the successful design, rehabilitation and construction of infrastructure projects in support of the US Government's assistance to Iraq in the areas of:

  • port and airport rehabilitation
  • electric power systems
  • road networks and rail systems
  • municipal water and sanitation services
  • school and health facilities
  • select government buildings
  • irrigation systems.

The rehabilitation of Umm Qasr Port and selected airports will be an immediate priority. Given their importance as gateways for the delivery of relief and reconstruction material and personnel the contractor should be prepared to begin rehabilitation and repair at these locations immediately.

USAID will award separate contracts for airport and port administration at two international and three domestic airports to be identified by USAID, and the Umm Qasr Port [a $4.8m contract for the Umm Qasr work has already been awarded to Stevedoring Services of America].

The provision of drinking water to southern Iraq will also be an immediate priority.

Once USAID has reviewed the recommended interventions and selected those to be undertaken, the contractor shall prepare a 12-month implementation plan.

Umm Qasr Port

The contractor will assess port facilities, verify channel and berth depth, assess freight handling equipment within two weeks of gaining access to the port.

The contractor will arrange a dredge no later than three weeks from the effective contract date.

Baghdad power station
Thick smoke was seen rising from a Baghdad power station

Within the first eight weeks from gaining access to the port, the port will allow 50,000-tonne ships to unload containers and pallets, accommodate three berths and facilitate an unloading capacity of five days per ship.

The contractor will ensure six berths are returned to operational condition within 90 days of program start date.

Within one year from gaining access to the port, 12 berths will be restored to a condition that permits the handling of containerised, palletised and bulk cargo.


Functional airports are critical to an adequate flow of relief and reconstruction materials and personnel. The contractor will undertake repair of select airports in Iraq, specifically two international and three domestic airports, to be specified by USAID.

The contractor will begin repairs to runways and other criticial facilities within 30 days from gaining access to the site.

The contractor shall ensure that the infrastructure at the first international airport to be reconstructed is sufficient to handle international freight and passenger service during both daylight and nighttime hours within six months from gaining access to the site.

The contractor shall ensure that the infrastructure of the two major international airports are sufficient to handle international freight and passenger service within 12 months of start date.

By the end of one year, it is anticipated that international commercial air links and international air connections will be restored.

Electric power systems

Under this component, the contractor will reconstruct, repair, rehabilitate and/or upgrade the power system including generation, transmission and distribution in order to restore and improve power supply.

It is envisioned that by the end of the contract reliable power will be available to at least 75% of the population.

Patient outside casualty unit of a Baghdad hospital
Iraq's hospitals are mostly in poor condition

The contractor will focus immediate repair activities on restoring or maintaining electric supply to key services such as health facilities and water supply systems.

Within six months, the contractor will be expected to establish reliable electricity supply to 40% of the previously serviced population in permissive areas.

It is estimated this will entail repair of 15% of the high-voltage and low-voltage distribution network, up to 50 substations and five generation plants.

Within 12 months, generating capacity will be restored to 75% of the pre-1991 level of 9,000 kilowatts and up to 110 substations and 10 generation facilities will be rehabilitated.

Roads and bridges

The contractor should focus immediate road and bridge repair on establishing reliable transport links in support of humanitarian, relief and reconstruction activities.

Within six months, the contractor will have clear and open roads, and key bridges repaired or by-passed, to re-open half the economically important road network, estimated at up to 2,230 kilometres of roads and 100 bridges.

Within 12 months it is anticipated that the contractor will ensure that all economically important road network links, estimated at up to 4,476 kilometres, will be clear and open to regular traffic.

Rail networks

The contractor will be responsible for repairing critical track bed sections, rail bridges, stations, locomotives, rolling stock and other essential infrastructure.

The contractor should focus immediate activities in permissive areas on establishing functioning rail transport of bulk grain and fuel, both critical elements to humanitarian, relief and reconstruction activities.

Water and wastewater

Iraq has 250 water treatment plants that service 12.9 million people, 14 wastewater treatment plants and 1,250 wastewater pumping stations.

All systems are currently operating at a highly degraded level of performance, and will likely suffer further degradation as a result of a conflict.

The contractor will commence repairs of water infrastructure in 10 urban areas within the first month.

Within the first six months the contractor will repair or rehabilitate critical water treatment, pumping and distribution systems in 15 urban areas.

Within 12 months drinking water supply will be restored in all urban centres. By the end of the program approximately 45 urban water systems will be repaired and put in good operational condition and environmentally sound solid waste disposal will be established.

An immediate critical priority in the dry regions, and the marsh region where drinking water is available only by trucks, will be re-establishing distribution of drinking water to the population.

A separate USAID program will be addressing water supplies for internally displaced persons.

Schools, health facilities and selected local government buildings

Iraq has 270 general hospitals, five medical college hospitals, 33,000 hospital beds and 995 civilian primary medical care centers.

9,400 physicians service a population of 25 million with only limited support of health paraprofessionals.

The contractor will repair and/or rehabilitate one referral hospital in each major city, up to 100 general hospitals throughout the country and selected Ministry of Health buildings.

There are over 11,000 schools throughout Iraq. Over 80% of these are in poor physical condition, lacking the basic amenities conducive to effective education.

Within six months the contractor will repair or rehabilitate up to 3,000 school buildings.

Within 12 months the contractor will repair or rehabilitate up to a total of 6,000 school buildings and selected Ministry of Education buildings.

Irrigation systems

Agriculture production in Iraq has been seriously degraded during the last decade.

Current grain production of 2 million metric tonnes is less than half that required to meet minimum grain needs.

The current irrigated crop area of 1.5 million hectares is less than half the area irrigated in the 1980s.

The contractor will repair or rehabilitate up to 1,000 kilometres of irrigation and drainage canals and up to 400 flow control structures.

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