Hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq will benefit from a new initiative funded by the European Union (EU)’s Regional Trust Fund, MADAD, which will support the recovery of the conflict-affected areas.
The initiative is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in four governorates - Erbil, Dohuk, Sulaimaniyah and Ninewah, which were largely affected by the refugee and IDPs crisis. Nearly €10 million of the EU funds will go towards improving housing and generating employment for the internally displaced people (IDPs), Syrian refugees and host communities.
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, 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), 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.
This new initiative is part of a wider EU - UNDP partnership in Iraq to support the rebuilding of the country and enhance its resilience.