EU reassures commitment to help the people of Iraq “regain hope in their institutions”Apr 14, 2016
Amman - The National Advisory Committee (NAC) of UNDP’s Local Area Development Programme (LADP) met in Amman today, chaired by the Deputy Minister of Planning from the Federal Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Director General for Regional Development, and the European Union (EU) Ambassador in Iraq.
NAC Chairs, governors and representatives of 12 Iraqi Governorates thoroughly discussed development challenges, achievements and steps needed for joint planning, as well as the implementation of strategies endorsed in the past months.
Opening the meeting, Iraq’s Deputy Minister of Planning, Mr. Maher Johan, said: “As the country is engaged in a military campaign against terrorism and an economic crisis, we need to walk faster and together to enhance cooperation at the local and central levels in comprehensive development planning and strategies. We are in urgent need of continuous support from the EU and UNDP.”
KRG’s Director General for Regional Development, Mr. Nawzad Tawfik, conveyed a similar call for “full support to Iraq’s governorates and the Kurdistan Region. With the help of LADP, Provincial Development Strategies have been conceptualized for Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaimaniyah for the years 2016-2018. We seek full support to achieve our strategic goals, namely: improving infrastructure, capacity building, engaging economic sectors, enhancing services, increasing administrative and financial efficiency, introducing e-governance, and achieving the welfare of society.”
The EU Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Patrick Simonnet, reassured: “The EU is well placed to help build some prospects for the people of Iraq to believe in the future and regain hope in their institutions, country, and economic and political progress. It is a new beginning for Iraq that has started to think about the day after the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and is mobilized towards reconstruction and national reconciliation.”
UNDP has provided direct support to 12 Governorates, including in provincial development, national and local urban planning, capacity development and capacity building, service delivery, and data management. “Thanks to the EU, we will be able to further expand our support to Iraq’s local and national institutions,” said LADP Programme Manager, Ms. Isabela Uribe. “Through comprehensive strategic planning and implementation, uninterrupted coordination between the central and local levels, and ensuring the voices of local communities are well heard in decision making circles, we are helping Iraq move towards sustainable development solutions; thus paving the way for a better future.”
UN-Habitat also contributes to these efforts through addressing the challenges of urban development in Iraq. "On the short term, substantial efforts will be exerted jointly with UNDP on Urban Damage Assessment of some liberated areas,” noted Head of UN-Habitat Iraq, Mr. Erfan Ali. “On the strategic level, the programme is developing the National and Provincial Urban strategies, in addition to several pilots on spatial planning and municipal finance. Spatial Data Platform has been developed for data collection, sharing, discussion and monitoring."
Nidaa Hilal, Communications Specialist, UNDP Iraq (m) +964 780 447 3336
Mohammed Fawzi, Press and Information Officer, EU Delegation to the Republic of Iraq (m) +964 780 928 5377