Hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq will benefit from two new projects funded by the European Union’s Regional Trust Fund, MADAD. Launched today in Erbil, the projects aim at empowering local communities and improving governance in areas affected by conflict.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) are implementing a project together, and VNG International of the Netherlands is implementing another project.
Minister of Planning at the Kurdistan Regional Government, Dr. Ali Sindi, stated: “The EU-UNDP support will help our societies recover much faster, and our local governance be revamped in line with our local and national plans. This is what our people need, now.”
Programme Manager of MADAD, Mr. Ryan Knox, said: "The EU has been heavily involved in local governance and local development for quite a number of years. The first two phases of the Local Area Development Programme (LADP), the ongoing Municipality granting scheme in Kurdistan Region, and now the forthcoming project on supporting recovery and stability through local development – all these illustrate the steadfast commitment we have towards Iraq and cements our partnership with the Iraqi people. In tangible terms we want to assist the authorities in weaving back together the social contract of this country, to reconstruct cities and towns, to make areas safe for the return of those who have had to flee their homes and to allow communities to heal and prosper."
In turn, Head of UNDP Office in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), Ms. Isabela Uribe, said: “The most vulnerable communities in Iraq have suffered enough in the past years. It is time for change. With the support of the EU, improved livelihoods and jobs are now within reach. We are grateful for this strategic partnership. Together we are making a lasting difference in the daily life of Iraqis.”
“Essentially, the MADAD Regional Trust Fund enables UN-Habitat to work hand-in-hand with governorate and municipal officials to address the housing needs of the most vulnerable families affected in the targeted Governorates. We owe it to these families to rebuild their homes, and their lives, as quickly as possible,” said Head of UN-Habitat Iraq, a.i., Ms. Yuko Otsuki.
Unit Manager for Europe, Middle East and North Africa at VNG International, Dr. Arne Musch, added: “VNG International (the Netherlands), PCPM (Poland) and KL (Denmark), agencies and colleagues from EU member states, are happy and honoured to help connect the issues of displacement and return, to the issue of urbanisation, thereby helping subnational governments and service providers.”
The project implemented by UNDP and UN-Habitat focuses on strengthening the long-term resilience of Erbil, Dohuk, Sulaimaniyah, and Ninewah. The four governorates were largely affected by the refugee and IDPs crisis. Nearly €10 million of EU funding will go towards improving housing and generating job opportunities with the objective of benefiting internally displaced people, Syrian refugees and host communities.
The project implemented by VNG International, PCPM and KL will focus on spatial planning, selected service sectors and the preparation of selected investments in these services in Duhok and Ninewah. The project will combine capacity building with concrete pilots.
The projects are scheduled to be launched in Mosul on 21 February 2019.
UNAMI | PUKmedia