Barznja camp to soon host 900 IDPs in Sulaymaniyah

May 25, 2015

Sultan Hajiyev, UNDP Deputy Country Director (centre) and Sulaymaniyah Governor, Aso Faraidoon Ali Amin (right) at the handover by the UN of Barznja camp © UNDP/Ann J. Ward

The United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) today officially handed over the Barznja durable shelter site for internally displaced persons (IDPs) to government officials in Sulaymaniyah.

Receiving ownership of the new community, the Governor of Sulaymaniyah, Aso Faraidoon Ali Amin, thanked the United Nations and NGO partners for supporting the governorate to provide the help needed for those who are displaced. “We are determined to help people from other regions of Iraq,” he said.

UN-Habitat, UNDP, UNFPA, and UNOPS all contributed to the completion of the Barznja prefabricated shelter community, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provided technical support in selecting IDPs to be accommodated at the site.

The settlement provides housing and basic social infrastructure for approximately 900 IDPs as part of the first phase of the Durable Shelter Support for IDPs in Iraq project.

“We are pleased to have contributed to providing sustainable solutions to the extended humanitarian crisis in Iraq through the installation of these 150 prefabricated shelter units and working with the Governorate of Sulaymaniyah to plan and coordinate the project,” said Erfan Ali, Head of Iraq Programme for UN-Habitat.

UN-Habitat worked with the local government to organize the site selection, preparation, planning, production and installation of the 150 prefabricated shelter units. UNDP supported the connection to the electrical grid, internal roads and walk ways and the WASH infrastructure, UNFPA provided a reproductive health center, and UNOPS installed 50 solar street lights.

"We are today proud to handover the camp’s basic infrastructure to the governorate,” Sultan Hajiyev, UNDP Deputy Country Director, said. “We look forward to seeing IDPs in critical need of shelter start their lives in the new camp,” he added.

Each of the 150 prefabricated shelter units in Barznja will accommodate a family of 5 to 7 persons, offering far greater privacy and basic life support than most short term shelter options.

The units contain their own water supply, bathroom, kitchen area, and a small sleeping room. They have a minimum projected life span of twenty years, and their design prevents major unauthorized alterations or additions. Each unit is connected to the sewerage system and camp’s electricity.

Ramanathan Balakrishnan, UNFPA Representative, said “UNFPA is pleased to have made a contribution of an integrated health unit and women’s space that will contribute to the improved reproductive health status of women and girls here in Barznja, and restore their dignity."

This facility is one of the 13 primary health units, maternities and women spaces that UNFPA in collaboration with UN-Habitat has recently established in Sulaymaniyah governorate alone.

Kareem Elbayar, UNOPS Programme Manager, said: “We are pleased to be able to support the people of Iraq with durable long-term solar lighting infrastructure."

"The solar street lights installed in Barznja will help increase the safety and security of the residents while reducing the burden on the electrical grid in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq,” he concluded.

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