Japanese development agency the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) loaned the Kurdistan regional government $130m in July to improve the water supply in the mountainous city of Halabja.

The loans are part of an attempt to provide basic services to the area in a bid to calm relations between the locals and international forces.

Designed by Lebanon’s Dar Al-Handasah Nazih Taleb & Partners, the water supply network will be used to provide freshwater to Halabja’s estimated 9,000 homes. Halabja has long been involved in clashes between local and international forces, but the regional government attempted basic reconstruction in 2003. Citizens of Halabja have since protested at what they see as the government’s inability to provide basic infrastructure services.

As of April this year, Japan had loaned the Kurdistan region $595m to build water and electricity projects. Overall, the country has contributed $3.2bn to help rebuild Iraq.

Japan-sponsored construction work in Iraq includes the following projects:

Deralok Hydropower Plant Construction $165 Dahuk
Water Supply Improvement $303 Erbil
Electricity Sector Reconstruction $127 Sulamaniya
Water Sector Loan Project $401 Ninawa, Al-Anbar, Salah ad-Din
Al-Akkaz Gas Power Plant $287 Al-Anbar
Irrigation Sector Loan $86 Baghdad, Babil, Basrah, Muthanna
Electricity Sector Reconstruction $281 Baghdad, Babil, Basrah, Muthanna
Baghdad Sewerage Facilities $19 Baghdad
Al-Mussaib Thermal Power Plant $331 Baghdad
Samawah Roads and Bridges $30 Muthanna
Basrah Refinery Upgrading $18 Basrah
Basrah Water Supply Improvement $370 Basrah
Khor Al-Zubair Fertilizer Plant $156 Basrah
Port Sector Rehabilitation Project $272 Basrah
Crude Oil Export Facility $432 Gulf

Source: JICA

The Kurdistan Investment Commission approved in June the estimated $500m Avro City in Dahuk province. Avro City was awarded in 2008 to a Turkish joint venture of Gurbag Construction Group and Guinsal Construction Company (MEED 9:7:10).