BAGHDAD (UN-Habitat) — The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) welcomes an additional contribution of USD 3.5 million from the Government of Japan to support peacebuilding in Iraq through rehabilitation or reconstruction of houses damaged or destroyed by the conflict, rehabilitation of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, and provision of vocational training and cash-for-work opportunities to unemployed young men and women in conflict-affected areas and facilitation of their employment and livelihood rebuilding. The project will be implemented in Sinjar, Ninewa Governorate.
After the outbreak of COVID-19, an increasing number of internally displaced persons indicated their willingness to return to their areas of origin, mostly because of their fear for infection of COVID-19 in camps where people live in a congested environment without adequate access to water, sanitation, hygiene and health facilities. Urgent assistance for shelter, basic services and livelihood opportunities is needed to encourage return of more IDPs, and more importantly, to prevent the secondary displacement where returnees are not being able to stay in the areas of return due to harsh living conditions and being displaced again or to go back to camps.
His Excellency Mr. SUZUKI Kotaro, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Iraq, stated: “Japan had provided over USD 500 million as humanitarian assistance to the people affected by the crisis since 2014. Additionally, Japan has decided to provide a new assistance package for Iraq, amounting to USD 50 million, including this project by HABITAT”. “I hope that the assistance from the Government and people of Japan will help rebuild livelihood of returnees through rehabilitation and/or reconstruction of houses as well as basic services in conflict-affected areas.” “This virus is posing great difficulties upon people all over the world, and the challenge is especially enormous in these areas.” “I trust UN-Habitat’s expertise and I hail the courage of people in Sinjar to rise and re-establish their lives”, he added
Wael Al-Ashhab, Head of UN-Habitat Iraq, expressed his sincere gratitude to the people and the Government of Japan, stating “this project builds on UN-Habitat’s comprehensive urban recovery approach, which simultaneously addresses multiple challenges faced by vulnerable returnees. UN-Habitat is committed to promote adequate housing, access to basic services and decent job opportunities for conflict-affected persons in urban settings.”