EO Clinic support requested by: World Bank Group (WBG) Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Global Practice
Requesting activity: Support to Manage Environmental Hotspots in Iraq (P173049)
Requesting activity type: Technical Assistance (TA)
EO Clinic relevant Thematic Groups: TG4 (Disaster Risk Management), TG5 (Energy and Natural Resources), TG9 (Urban), TG11 (Non-EO Information and Analytics)
Work Order number: EOC0017
Work Order status: Completed
Work Order start: 2021 Jun 15
Work Order end: 2022 Jan 26
Iraq is struggling with chronic environmental problems and environmental impact of conflict. The World Bank Group activity requesting the current EO Clinic support is primarily informed by the Damage and Needs Assessment (DNA) carried out by The World Bank in 2018, that estimated chemical and hydrocarbon contamination of over 10,569 hectares and unusable nature of over 2.3 million hectares of land due to series of conflicts in Iraq. Building on the ongoing efforts of the Chemical Management and Contaminated Sites Assessment Department of the Ministry of Health and Environment (MoHE) and other development partners such as UNEP Crisis Management Unit, the activity proposes to carry out the following tasks: 1) Prepare a detailed inventory of critical pollution hotspots in Iraq; 2) Identify priority sites for remediation with emphasis on community health and safety and local economic development; 3) Support preparation of technical studies (including engineering, costing, etc.) for remediation of priority hotspots; 4) Support preparation of a national register of contaminated hotspots, and 5) Develop a road map/ action plan for the program on remediation of hotspot sites in Iraq.
These activities will contribute to the establishment of a framework for sound management of environmental and conflict pollution hotspots in Iraq with twin objectives of mitigating health and safety risks and contributing to the local economic development through remediation. Based on the progress of these activities, a recipient-executed activity will also be designed that can implement remediation of priority hotspots, augment the laboratory and detailed assessment infrastructure of MoHE, and design a national program for the remediation of polluted sites in Iraq. Based on the detailed information on critical pollution hotspots, the activity will identify remediation measures through technical studies for priority hotspots where pollution poses a high and immediate risk to communities and opportunities for beneficial use of the land.
The current EO Clinic support would feed into the inventory of critical pollution hotspots performed in the Advisory Services and Analytics (ASA) activity mentioned above.
Some of the information gaps the World Bank Group together with the Iraqi government are trying to bridge regard a better understanding of the situation on the ground concerning the location and characterisation of contaminated and polluted sites at a national scale, as well as the type of contamination (oil, chemical, waste and demolition waste or others). An inventory in several provinces of Iraq is currently available, from the Ministry of Health and Environment . This however covers only oil polluted sites and doesn’t provide information such extent or land use in the vicinity of the site, etc. This data needs to be updated and information on sites across seven conflict-affected governorates needs to be generated. These governorates are: Ninewa (Nineveh), Al Anbar, Salah Ad-Din (Saladin), Diyala, Kirkuk, Baghdad, and Babel (Babil).