Iraq Community Response and Resilience Program

Speeches Shim

Al Abara Compact Water Treatment Facility in Basra
Rehabilitation of Al Abara Compact Water Treatment in Basra
Zen Marzouk

Access to clean drinking water is a fundamental human right and helps to ensure the future health and stability of both Iraq. Provision of potable water helps to address ongoing grievances and promote greater stability.

Project Snapshot

  • Implementing Partner: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

  • Project Duration: September 2019 - December 2023

  • Location: Basra

  • Budget: $5,000,000


The city of Basra’s four million residents rely on the Shatt al-Arab river and its freshwater canals for water. However, overuse, pollution, and reduced rainfall have contributed to a significant decline in freshwater flow rates. Furthermore, Basra’s cracked and contaminated piping network and outdated public water plants are unable to ensure clean potable water to the city’s residents. In 2018, nearly three decades of water scarcity in Basra culminated in a water contamination crisis that sent over 118,000 people to the hospital and triggered mass protests that spread to Baghdad and other areas of Iraq. Access to clean drinking water is a fundamental human right and helps to ensure the health and stability in Iraq. In March 2019, former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo made an additional $10 million available to USAID to support the Government of Iraq (GOI) in its efforts to prevent future water emergencies. 

USAID Response 

USAID is rehabilitating critical water infrastructure to ensure potable water for residents of Basra.  Provision of potable water is imperative to reduce the vulnerability and address current grievances of Basra’s citizens, thus rebuilding ties between the population and the GOI.

Progress to Date

USAID is currently rehabilitating seven major water treatment units in the Shatt al-Arab, Al Qurna, and Abi Al Khaseeb districts of Basra. The investments made in these water treatment units will ensure access to potable water to over 150,000 residents. 

Last updated: February 04, 2021

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