Three KfW employees are travelling to Baghdad to clarify the details of investment packages to rebuild ruined public infrastructure. Not an easy assignment given that efficient structures are lacking, so necessary decisions are often delayed for months and international payment transactions are often blocked. But the biggest problem is the deteriorating security situation.
As the first rays of sunlight appear, we start to circle down on our approach into Baghdad. After a long overnight flight and layover in Istanbul, we have hardly slept at all. From a bird’s eye view, the Tigris meanders like a silvery ribbon through the city’s flat residential areas. The houses look as though they are covered in a dusty grey mist.
Our bodyguards are waiting for us on the airport forecourt; they place bullet-proof vests on us and run through a quick briefing: do not open any doors without being told to do so and, if you hear any gunfire, duck deep down into the back of the armoured vehicle. Three of us have travelled together from Frankfurt and are now accompanied by the team head of the security company and five Iraqi bodyguards. We split up into three armoured vehicles. Our convoy leaves the specially protected area of Baghdad International Airport. Once we have left, our team take up their weapons. We hear a “click, clack” as the magazines engage.
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