KRG Allocates $30 Million to Impoverished Shangal Region
|June 11, 2012||Filled under Iraq Daily News|
DUHOK, Kurdistan Region – After a visit to the Shangal region, a minister with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), says, “I was surprised by the way people live there. I could not believe humans could live in such conditions. I have never seen a group of people that deserve more attention than the people of this town.”
Shangal is one of the largest towns in the disputed areas and it lies in the province of Nineveh. The district is home to 400,000 people.
The town has been ignored by the governor of Mosul. Kurdistan Deputy Prime Minister Imad Ahmed visited Shangal with four ministers late last month. The delegation pledged US$30 million to the district’s administration.
The minister, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says, “We decided to provide some serious help. We have formed a committee to monitor the delivery of assistance and the money allocated to the area.”
According to Shangal’s mayor, Mirsar Heji Salih, this is the first time government representatives have visited Shangal with aid since 2003.
“From now on, we can carry out large projects and seriously help the people of Shangal,” he said.
Khasrow Goran, former deputy governor of Mosul, admits that neither Kurdistan nor the Baghdad government has ever allocated such an amount this poor district before.
Goran, who also ran the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) headquarters in Mosul, adds, “The Kurdistan Regional Government has done some projects in the district. But this latest allocation of money is unprecedented.”
One of the major projects to be carried out with the new funding is connecting Shangal to Duhok province. This project is to start in a few weeks.
“We will build a major road that links Shangal to Duhok directly,” says Yezdin Khalaf, chairman of the Shangal municipality.
“The Mosul municipality has not carried out any projects in Shangal, except for approving a road project between Shangal and Mosul. And that has not even been carried out; it’s just a road on the map,” he says.
With KRG’s assistance, Khalaf says, his municipality plans to work on water projects and public parks.
The mayor of Shangal says that the funding promised by the KRG delegation dwarfs any money ever given by the central government.
“Last year, Baghdad provided a 17 billion Iraqi dinar budget to Shangal, but only three-quarters of the budget was actually used,” mayor Salih says. “However, the money allocated by the KRG is 40 billion Iraqi dinars. This is equal to three years of budget provided by the Iraqi government.”
Ido Baba Sheikh, the representative of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan says that with the recent visit the KRG made up for years of neglect of the area.
“The visit of the Kurdistan government was planned this time,” he says. “They made up for the earlier neglect of the district.”
After the KRG visit to Shangal, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki held a cabinet meeting in Mosul. Shangal administration officials say that, in terms of projects, “the meeting did not offer anything new.”
Ali Awni, a member of the KDP leadership council and head of the party’s tribal leaders’ council, says, “This area is called disputed, but all the projects are paid for by the Kurdistan Regional Government. Baghdad does not send a budget to the district.”
Awni suggests that the KRG “pay attention to the demands of Makhmoor, Sheikhan and other districts in the area.”
Dr. Rekawt Hama Rasheed, minister of health in the KRG, says that health assistance would be provided for Shangal.
“Besides the allocated budget, we will send medical equipment,” he says. “We will do whatever we can to help. As for those things that we cannot do, we will ask the Kurdistan Council of Ministers for help.”
Related Iraqi Articles-
Iraqi Dinar: Scam or God-Send?
Iraqi Dinars: Smart Investment or Smoke and Mirrors?
Iraqi Dinar Revaluation Soon
Iraq Dinar Value Seems Likely To Significantly Increase
The Recent Iraq 2011 Budget May Have Leaked the Coming Currency Revaluation
Buy New Iraqi Dinars and Put Them in a Drawer
The Deletion of Three Zeroes From the Iraqi Currency Is a National Demand
Investing in Iraq- What Investors Have Been Waiting For
Gold Dinar Will End Currency Wars