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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

INTERVIEW: Capacity-building: Ms. Humadi, Brig. Gen. Dorko, July 20, 2008

Multi-National Force-Iraq

Monday, 21 July 2008

Ms. Azza Humadi, program director for Women's Initiatives, Gulf Region Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Dorko, GRD commanding general, discuss capacity-building programs in Iraq.

INTERVIEW:

BRIGADIER GENERAL JEFFREY J. DORKO, COMMANDING GENERAL U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, GULF REGIONS DIVISION, BAGHDAD, IRAQ;

MS. AZZA HUMADI, GULF REGIONS DIVISION, WOMENS’ ISSUES COORDINATOR

DATE: July 20, 2008

PARTICIPANTS:

RPT1-RPT10 = REPORTERS 1 – 10

INT = INTERPRETER

(Set-up chatter.)

BG DORKO: Good afternoon, everyone. I want to thank you all especially for being here today. And I want to thank Admiral Driscoll for inviting my colleague, Azza Humadi, and me to talk to you about the Gulf Regions Division's Capacity Development efforts here in Iraq. Capacity development, as two words, really don't capture the intent, the importance or the feeling of the program that we want to talk to you about today. Capacity development means foundation building; it involves mentoring; it results in self sustainment. But most of all, capacity development is a cooperative partnership where we bring training or best business, technical and operational practices to meet the needs identified by our Iraqi partners. Capacity development means ensuring that the Iraqi people have the tools that they need to keep the forward momentum going, to keep progressing. This is one of the most important aspects of reconstruction. What good is a state-of-the-art facility if the technicians don't know how to maintain it? What good are new public health centers if the repair staff doesn't have the equipment needed to keep these clinics serving their neighborhoods for years or decades to come?

The United States government has contributed almost $14 billion toward Iraq's reconstruction efforts, completing more than 4,600 projects to help move the infrastructure and essential services forward throughout Iraq. And every project we work on promises some sort of capacity development. I'll touch on a few of these areas in the next couple of minutes.

Overall, more than 90 percent of our contracts for reconstruction projects are awarded to Iraqi-owned businesses, meaning that rock…Iraqis are the main players in rebuilding their country. They are the very foundation of capacity development. We assist Iraqi businesses by teaching them how to bid on contracts, how to manage construction projects, and how to enhance vocational skills, basically, to help Iraqis promote economic stability and self-sustainment throughout their nation. We estimated in GRD that currently on any given day, through our contractors, we are employing over 60,000 Iraqis. So, Iraqis are not only rebuilding Iraq today, but they are increasing their personal skills and the capacity of the construction industry and others to guarantee even greater progress for Iraq tomorrow.

Another more direct way that GRD is assisting in foundation building is through the renovation of vocational centers across the country. These facilities aid in the development of the nation's work force of skilled laborers, tradesmen, and technicians, the very people necessary to maintain this momentum in providing essential facilities and services to the people of Iraq.

Currently we've just…we've completed three vocational school projects, one in Khor al-Zubai, as an example, a $1.6 million renovation. It was completed in March and currently has enrolled over 600 students. Al Qasaib, a $1.2 million renovation completed in June, currently has 1,000 students and a faculty of 130. And in al Kut, another $1.6 million renovation, just completed last month, already has 260 students enrolled, and is growing to near 400 in the next term. Students there are learning auto mechanic skills, welding, carpentry, plumbing, computer skills, air conditioning, and refrigeration repair and masonry. The enrollment numbers show how important these facilities are to the local communities they serve and how enthusiastically these communities are embracing the opportunities that these facilities represent.

GRD also has a sustainment and technical capacity program that is designed to enhance the skills of Iraqis at electrical power plants, at water treatment plants, and at medical facilities across the country. The program focuses on two areas: Operations, maintenance and sustainment, and then technical training. This $345 million program has trained employees on the ordering and providing of supplies and tools to be able to operate their facilities, to properly maintain their equipment, to manage and operate maintenance training programs for others, and to schedule management and plant optimization, to get the most out of those facilities that have been built.

Currently, there are more than 1600 Iraqi workers who have completed technical training courses across all three of those sectors: Water, electrical and health. And that includes operations, how to run instruments and controls; electrical and mechanical maintenance, as well as computer training. The Ministry of Water Resources and the Ministry of Electricity have proven this initiative to be highly successful. The Ministry of Water Resources has showed a marked reduction in water outages in its facilities throughout the country, and the best retention of personnel in this program. And the Ministry of Electricity has increased power production significantly due to the partnership that has placed trainers and maintainers in six key power plants throughout the country to mentor employees and to help do maintenance better.

The operations and maintenance and sustainment program has allowed us to purchase trucks to make repair calls to facilities and to provide maintenance cargo vans to support health facilities. These cargo vans are loaded with biomedical equipment, tool sets for the repair of biomedical equipment, and that allows these mobile repair teams to go around and keep high-tech medical facilities—hospitals and clinics—up and running. And we've provided administrative hardware and software to run patient records systems and to administratively allow clinics and hospitals to run more efficiently.

So, you can see our team has partnered with Iraqis in very, very many ways, in a very grass-roots way that has had a substantial impact on this country.

Another area that we'll talk about in a few minutes concerns our Women's Initiative Program, which began in the year 2005, and was created to encourage Iraqi businesswomen to establish their own companies and to ensure that women have equal opportunities in competing for contracts. I won't go into very much detail right now because my colleague, Azza Humadi, will discuss this with you next. However, I do want to point out that so far in 2008 alone, GRD has awarded 457 contracts worth $108 million to women-owned businesses—no small feat—and much of the credit goes to Azza and her team for their tireless dedication over the years.

Finally, one other form of capacity development that we're particularly proud of in the Gulf Region Division that impacts us every day is the teaming with our Iraqi associates in our day-to-day operations. GRD has hired more than 380 Iraqi associates, many of them engineers, some of other skills, who assist us in ensuring the projects we build in Iraq will stand the test of time. These are true patriots who risk their lives daily to ensure that this country is given the best foundation on which to grow. And I think, if you've seen throughout my remarks, that this foundation isn't only a brick-and-mortars foundation, but a foundation of skills, knowledge, and capability to best use the infrastructure to benefit the people of Iraq and to continue our progress. Iraq's greatest resource, above all, without a doubt, is the Iraqi people. So, while we've accomplished a lot in terms of what we've built, how it's being sustained, and the capacity that we've developed to carry forward into the future, there's still a lot more to go. But I have great confidence that this nation, rich in so many resources, will leverage its greatest resource, its people, and continue to make great progress.

I invite you to come out and see any of our projects at any time or to visit our headquarters. We'd love to show you what we've done in partnership with the Iraqi people. And I'd like at this time to turn it over to really the highlight of our briefing today, Azza Humadi, who is going to talk to you about a program that has made incredible progress for Iraq and its people, and particularly its women. And we're really proud of the work that she's done.

MS. HUMADI: Thank you, sir. It's an honor for me to be here. (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: In fact I wanted to thank Admiral Driscoll and General Dorko too, and I want to thank you all to come here today and to listen to me and the program that I've worked on. And in fact, this program is part of the capacity development, and it's encouraging the woman have to establish her own business and either owning her own company to help her with the…with the…with her business.

This…this project…or this program is to have equal opportunity for women to get some contracts as part of the reconstruction processes to ensure women has equal opportunity or to encourage Iraqi businesswomen to establish their own companies and create joint ventures with U.S. companies, conduct training sessions, seminars that teach Iraqi businesswomen how to find solicitations and…through the websites and how to fill applications and how to apply for those contracts. Also, we invite the woman to attend the conferences and to meet other people, apart from American Army; I'm talking about existing companies or other foreign companies where there can…we can make sure, you know, their companies grow bigger. Also encourage Iraqi women on the programs that we have a new U.S. embassy, as you know, that we have on the website, programs that can get those women to travel to the States, if we can always nominate women—ladies—from Iraq, southern side or northern side, who is this program actually benefiting? Businesswomen? Women affiliated with nongovernment organizations also or private sector? Also employed…everyone employed by the government?

This is a look at the program. You can see in 2005 we have about 70 contracts totaling…this is only with the…not only with the…this is only focusing…businesswomen with GRD. This is with…you'll see $7 million and you'll see the increasing that happened in 2006. And you'll see also in 2007 the number increased about 1,266 contracts, and so, this is all went to Iraqi businesswomen.

This slide is going to show you the projects that we call "success stories." This is a businesswoman that actually took this contract from a Washington company. It's an American company and it's considered…she's considered as a subcontractor to the GRD. She took this renovation project to Haditha Police Station. It's a 635,000 cost for this project, and I mean of course, providing protection to this building, also doing the plumbing, the electrical work for this, and also the planning or putting the designs for…this is one of…for the building. This is one of the ladies that we work with all the time. The next slide, please.

We have also the Lion's Square, and this is one of the oldest squares in Iraq, and of course, you know about it. And it's built…I believe, in the '40s. In fact, this is between al Quifah Street and this is one of the…one hottest and most dangerous spots…used to be…and this lady went by herself to that place and this contract was 25 days contract, and what they did is they actually cleaned the streets, renovate the fountain, and put…or linked the electrical lines to where…see this fountain again? …for the fountain to start working again. If you'll look at pictures, you'll see the project. The third project is apprentice training program, and this…this project is to build and train at the same time. And this is very important because this has been done by a lady in Mada'an area, it's about 35 kilometers away from Baghdad. She trained about 650 people, and it's about from the area there, it's to train them on different skills, in carpentry, masonry work, also welding, et cetera. And this is going to be finished in 2009, in January of 2009. If you see her picture, you'll see she is wearing the scarf, the one…wearing the scarf.

The challenges that we're facing and the woman's…of course, security…if we have security, we would have probably have gotten more work done. Of course, also the mentality of the culture, the society still is not accepting women competing with men, and not all people. I'm talking part or a portion of the people in society. The solutions is now the projects we are giving right now to…the priority is giving to women-owned companies. We also are working on, you know, as far as provide credit or banking facilities that enable women, also provide educational/training opportunities. I'm not trying to…I don't want you to get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that there's difference between women and men here, but women definitely needs help in this society, and this is the program that we're working on and this is…we are ready to take your questions too, but I just wanted to give you an overview of what we are doing. Thank you.

BG DORKO: Thanks, Azza. These few pictures don't even begin to tell the story of the hard work that's gone into this. But it's more so to the incredible capabilities that are just waiting to be unleashed by Iraqi women-owned businesses. So we've only just started and there's…there are great things to come, and I think we can see and then map that from what's been accomplished so far. So that said, we'd love to take your questions. Sir.

REP1: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: We make sure that your work is a humanitarian work, and…but I want…I would like for you to explain to us what are the regulations that…for companies that's working with GRD and are…the U.S. Corps of Engineers, and if they're…in case of having any corruption with those companies, what are the penalties for them?

BG DORKO: Well, as far as the rules that are concerned with companies that we contract with, we follow the Federal Acquisition Regulations of the United States that we are required to follow. And those regulations are very strict in terms of the discipline that it puts into the contracting system. If the question is is what are the…what allows us to ensure that we are delivering contracts honestly, you know, free from corruption, part of it is is the rules that we have to work under. We compete our contracts. It's a very rare occasion where we would single out a company that we would contract with directly. There are rules, with safeguards, that allow us to do that. But we think the greatest assurance that contracting is going to happen fairly and impartially is to follow our contracting rules which allow for full and open competition. Once contracts are awarded, to assure that contracts are performed correctly and that, you know, there isn't anything wrong going on, we have auditors. We…internally to GRD, we have our own audit staff. And I think over the last six months, we've gone through 60 different inspections or audits where agencies from outside of GRD have come in to inspect how we've spent our money, the clauses in the various contracts we've awarded, and have gone out and inspected work and looked back at the contracts that we've awarded to make sure that the Iraqi people are getting the products that they deserve and that American taxpayer money that's spent through these contracts is wisely spent and carefully looked after. Sir.

REP2: (Speaking in Arabic.) Radio Sawa.

INT: A few minutes ago you talked about indirect subcontracts or indirect contracts. And we know that those projects are…your contracts, usually they go all the way down and then get granted at the end of the day to a small Iraqi contractor. So how do you do that?

BG DORKO: Yeah, again, we award contracts to a prime contractor. And again, right now we're awarding about 90 percent of our contracts to prime contractors who are Iraqi. Now, some large companies will bid on contracts, they'll be awarded those contracts, but don't perform the work themselves. And then they, in turn, subcontract to local companies who may have particular skills in masonry or carpentry, electrical construction. And so, subcontracting is part of the process we go through, and by and large, I think all those subcontractors—often, they are local subcontractors in the area where the project's being constructed. I certainly…they are…and by and large, nearly all local, Iraqi subcontractors. And again, backing up to the prime contractor that's awarded to manage the contract overall, 90 percent of those are currently Iraqi. And in large measure, I think a lot of those come from the areas where we're building the projects. You would think that that would happen because companies in those areas are most interested, and that's where we get the most interest when we advertise a project and our solicitation draws response back. Yes, ma'am.

REP3: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: I want to ask Miss Azza…There are so many women—businesswomen—used to do this since the fall of the former regime. After the fall of the former regime we had a lot of women got involved in this initiative, and a lot of them are getting the chance to work with the American…American organizations. Do you have any like rules or regulations in place where you can pick or select those women to work with you?

MS. HUMADI: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: In fact, this project is open to all women. We don't have a former system in place and a current system. If whoever…whoever wants to come and attend our training sessions, they're welcome. There are no priorities. As far as the women or the people that's working with American companies and now want to work with us, I call this “conflict of interest.” I don't have, you know, people that work in American organization or institution and working now with us. I don't have this. What I have is I have businesswomen working with me. What you're asking about probably…but as far as me, I don't have…I don't try to prioritize between the women that we have working with us. Priority is to actually…here to support them, and my role here is to support you, to support her, to support women or businesswomen to have independency as far as their work. But she's working with an American organization and she has her own company and is trying to work with us, I think this is something against the law. Unless she leaves her work and she starts working with us, this is…I hope I answered your question, or I hope you are convinced with my answer.

REP4: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: My question is to Miss Azza. You talked a while ago about giving projects and contracts to ladies that's worked before and they're working now and cooperating. Is there any assurances if they…when they get those projects? Is there any assurances that they're going to get these projects?

MS. HUMADI: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: What assurances is he talking about?

REP4: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: First the company has to have experience.

MS. HUMADI: (Speaking in Arabic.) Uh-huh.

REP4: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: I'm talking about there are companies and they get categorized.

MS. HUMADI: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: I just want to say something. There are articles or…and I can actually give you my e-mail address later on and I can provide you with the info about it. Once you have to get…we have to get paper, a piece of paper to…a registration paper from the Ministry of Trade for that company. And we also have to have the meeting or the first meeting for this company that shows the percentage of this…this company in order to know if this is a woman-owned company or a man-owned company in order to put it in the right category here. It has to have the percentage of women in that company has to be at least 51 percent. And according to these contracts and their bids, and of course we have to look at the past performance to this company as well. Thank you.

BG DORKO: Sir, back there.

REP5: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: Throughout the development projects that you're going…or doing right now for Iraqis in order to improve their skills, their technical skills also, are you going to allocate job opportunities for them after finishing their training?

BG DORKO: In particular, a big part of the program involves training people that are already in positions; for example, in the electrical sector, we've had an extensive number of programs, I think 67 different courses that we have taught where we have trained the workforce out of the Ministry of Electricity in various skills, from very technical skills down in the plant level on how to operate and maintain specific types of equipment, all the way up to various management and leadership courses that have been taught to them. So what we've done, largely in the electrical sector, is to take the employees of the Ministry of Electricity and train them in various courses so that they can then return to their job and manage their plants, operate and maintain and sustain their equipment better than before, because it obviously pays to sustain equipment. It's less expensive and gives you a greater return to your investment than going out and buying new equipment.

I think it's largely the same for the health sector. For example, when we go out and build a new health clinic and are finishing that clinic off, we provide a training program that allows the people who will work in the health clinic to understand best how to operate and maintain the equipment, and that could be everything from the generator that provides backup power, to the person that operates the computer to maintain the medical records, to understand how to do that. And we have a program now for the next year that will go back—a maintenance program—that will go back and help with the maintenance of the facilities, but also to retrain people to improve their skills for maintaining those facilities. So, those were people who are employees of the Ministry of Health who are already in a position, and we've trained those.

As far as what happens to the people that come out of the various vo-tech schools, learning various skills, we've built the schools that provide the various courses of instruction, and largely it's the local municipalities and the local multinational division that works with authorities in the area to ensure, I think, that the curriculum matches the needs of that area, that the right skills are being trained, and that there are local job opportunities for something like a vo-tech. And we don't get involved necessarily with the placement of people in a vo-tech environment. But for the three main ministries where we've conducted a lot of training—water resources, electricity, and health—that's just training employees who are already working for those ministries. Okay. Sir.

REP6: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: My question is to Miss Azza. We have noticed through the contracts that you've displayed here that, you know, renovation for Haditha Police Station, also the Lion's Square or the apprentice training program, we haven't seen any project that takes care of the literacy literacy programs…any literacy programs. We haven't seen anything building…like building mobile schools or schools to…for literacy program to…or train or projects or programs that serves the women first. I'm talking like teaching her how to drive or...

MS. HUMADI: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: In fact, I want to thank you for this question. I said this is a…our project is broader than what we've talked about today. And we don't want to, you know, praise ourselves here. We've worked a lot with women. What you're talking about is like educating women and literacy programs. This is for, you know, international agencies or organizations, and if you know…just if you know how much, you know, how much money or funds we have helped governmental organizations to, you know. But what I'm trying to do is to focus on businesswomen and…but if you know, I've worked a lot in Basrah and Diwaniya, and everywhere in Iraq I helped organizations that's been…that's been working for two years to hold those sessions or training courses, and I can tell you a lot of details. I've helped a lot of people, you know, with the nursing, the medics, and especially I focus on literacy programs and healthcare, which is very important to people. And I can tell you that…I can tell you in Baghdad, in central Baghdad and Basra, we have a lot of, you know, women organizations, and non-woman organizations, through my connections. And I just want to say something: The success of this program relies on the confidence that we are having with…because people are trusting me, and that's why they're getting the work and the business. And that's why I wasn't, you know, inviting media, or before I didn't have…I didn't do any coverage…media coverage, and that's why people believed in me, because I provided security to them and also I try to provide the knowledge as well. And that's…and hopefully…Insha’Allah…God willing, I gain your trust as well. And next time I'll provide you all the info you need.

BG DORKO: Okay. Next question. Yes, ma'am.

REP7: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: Miss Azza, is there any categorization process here for any businesswoman? If you're talking…according to the capital that this…her company owned?

MS. HUMADI: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: I want you to know that I'm not distributing this…the contracts. I try to help you…or help the business woman to work and develop. I support you. You come to the conferences. You meet with us. You meet with the officers, the contract officers, and the companies existed. Also each company, of course, relies on the capital, but also you…it's part to build relations. And I mentioned that. And not to go…not necessarily go to training courses, but also, to meet and build connections and contact with other…and build relations, you know, with…of course, the categorization you're talking about is in place, but I don't give you or grant you any contract, but I help you.

REP8: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: So this question…I want to direct this question then to General Dorko. It's known that for each company there is a subset or a categorization process that happens with these companies and contractors. And just like Iraqi ministries, when they give their friend a contract to the companies; is that according to the capital they have?

BG DORKO: If you're talking about categorization in terms of selection of contractors, when…First of all, when we advertise a contract, we advertise, if at all possible, as broadly as we can for full and open competition, allowing as many interested contractors to bid on a contract. And then when we evaluate, we certainly evaluate the capabilities of the company, their past performance record, their technical ability to actually perform the work. We look at the bid response that comes in and we look…we call it…we evaluate if it's responsive; in other words, does that company have the…physically…or physically…actually have the capability to do the work? Are they technically competent, and what has their past performance been in like in like ventures? Do they have the business capacity to be able to do the work? Obviously in some cases, a company might…someone might bid on a contract that doesn't have electrical expertise, maybe has never done an electrical contract or isn't large enough or doesn't have the size in terms of a business, really, to be able to do that contract, and that's taken into account when evaluating proposals. And what we attempt to do is to pick the best value that we can get in performing that contract, where we take into account both price and the proposal. There may be variations in design or different ways to approach a contract, and that company's particular capability, what they've done in the past and how well they've performed. All that's taken into account in accordance with the selection plan that we do ahead of time that's in accordance with our procurement regulations.

MS. HUMADI: If I could add something.

BG DORKO: Sure.

MS. HUMADI: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: We also…when we…like when a company's trying to register and be part of us, we give them a list or a form that has all the details. Sometimes when they, you know, send us an e-mail that people can…companies try to do everything. And this is in fact, this is something that can't be done. If a person wants to work in the south, they don't want to work up north. This is all something that we want to put…and we put into consideration, and their field of specialty as well. And I hope that next time you come and see for yourself.

REP9: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: What are the projects that's been established or done by you…and funded by you?

BG DORKO: Golly. Of the 4,000 projects, I guess what I'll do is I'll stick to capacity development and talk about those. The most capacity development projects lie in the electrical sector, in the water sector, and in the health sector. Probably the single largest capacity development project we've done over the last year has involved operations maintenance and sustainment in support of the Minister of Electricity, where we have teams that are at six of the largest power plants here that are out doing…helping with project management, maintenance planning, monitoring of the systems, and helping the teams that work for the Ministry of Electricity operate, maintain and sustain those very complex power generation plants so that we get the most power generation out of them. That's probably the biggest single project we've done over the last year. As I mentioned earlier, we do support for the Ministry of Health, where we've done training courses for people that work in the health sector, but where we've also provided equipment and spare parts and trucks to allow mobile maintenance teams to go around and to provide maintenance support to hospitals and to clinics.

Likewise in the water sector, we've provided training courses to help employees in the Ministry of Water Resources and in the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works to better understand how to operate and maintain the very complex water and waste water systems that are out here in Iraq. Sir.

REP10: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: You mentioned that the most or the biggest project…projects are capacity development projects. You're talking about the electricity and…but Iraqis are complaining about lack of electricity this year. Is there any cooperation between you and Iraqis? And where are these projects you're talking about?

BG DORKO: First of all, that's a great question. Electricity is of a concern for us on the Coalition side and for the Minister of Electricity, and we have an incredibly close partnership with the Ministry of Electricity to make sure that electric power is delivered for the people of Iraq. Over the last year, there's been great progress on two fronts, and in putting new generation, new power generation on line, and through operations maintenance and sustainment in improving electrical output. We've seen in the six plants where we've put these maintenance teams, as much as a 30 percent increase in the output of that plant just by running them more efficiently, more effectively, and by doing the routine maintenance that needs to be done so that generators don't break down. But the Minister—and on the Coalition side—we've both been adding power generation over the last year. So while power generation has increased, it's chasing an ever-increasing demand. The Iraqi people are using more electricity, and so while the Minister has been able to provide more electricity, demand has gone up. And so, the Minister's working very, very hard to balance the load across the country, to provide for the most fair and equitable distribution of power, all the while making sure that critical facilities like hospitals or clinics have all the power that they need during the course of 24 hours to be able to provide the services that they do, and that schools and government buildings that need power and that next tier down for the hours that they operate have that. And over the next year, there are more generation projects coming on line. We in the Coalition will finish our last two generation projects by the end of this calendar year. And our program of support will now transition to the Minister, and he will provide the, in large measure, the operations maintenance and sustainment at the individual power plants. Power's obviously of great concern to people. It's a very basic requirement, and it enables many other good things to happen in any society. And the Ministry of Electricity is working very hard, as are we, to get the most out of the system now and to set conditions to continue to improve the system and provide more generation in the future.

One last question? None? Okay. I'll give you…yes, ma'am. One last question. You can get the last question.

REP11: (Speaking in Arabic.)

INT: Is there…the projects that you're talking about, the companies and that start to build the projects, schools and bridges, all the things that you mentioned. Have they done any renovations to the mosques that's been damaged because of the sectarian violence we had before?

BG DORKO: We in GRD have not had any construction projects that involved maintenance or major restoration of any mosques now. No, we have not. We've mainly worked in the large sectors that involve the major ministries in the country: Oil, electricity, health, education, and that's where our program has been focused in cooperation…in close coordination with the various ministers, having them prioritize what projects we've done. Thanks.

I appreciate all of you coming today. I think we're very proud of our partnership with you, with the Iraqi people, with the various levels of government. We look forward to continuing cooperation. We're really proud of the women's Business Initiatives that have gone on in GRD. We're thrilled to be associated with that, because that just unleashes great, great potential that this country has. The greatest resource of Iraq is its people, and we're really thrilled to be part of really unleashing the unlimited potential of Iraqi's…of Iraq's women. Thanks for coming today.

[END]



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