Funding from Saudi Arabia to the UN will allow UN-Habitat to provide shelter options for internally displaced people, commonly referred to as IDPs, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
Following the takeover of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant movement – ISIL – last June and the influx of more than 600,000 IDPs to other areas in the country, UN-Habitat was granted USD 8 million from the Saudi government to work with other agencies in the response activities to the IDP crisis in Iraq.
Through this grant, UN-Habitat has started implementing a “Sustainable Shelters for IDPs” programme that focuses on providing convenient housing and early recovery services for approximately 1,000 IDP families in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in addition to limited intervention in other Iraqi governorates.
Speaking of the new initiative, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr Joan Clos, said: “This programme allows us to assess the rapidly changing situation and develop appropriate shelter responses for those affected by the ongoing crisis in Iraq. UN-Habitat is grateful for the generous and timely contribution of the Saudi Arabian government which will enable us to support some of the most vulnerable displaced people in Iraq.”
Each family will be housed in a prefabricated housing unit or in a composite unit within a collective shelter as appropriate, and will have access to electricity, water, and sanitation services. Shelters will be built on identified sites that will include public service centres, including police stations, medical clinics, parks and green spaces.
It is of great concern that IDP families will have access to basic services and employment opportunities. The UN Development Programme, UNDP, is supporting infrastructure component of this initiative and the UN Office for Project Services, UNOPS, will provide solar panels for electrical supply and streets lightening.
In Bahraka and Erbil UN-Habitat has finalized the topographic survey, site plan, designs and bills of quantities of the housing units and the governor of Erbil has endorsed these. Current available resources will cover the erection of between250 and 300 prefab units and proposals have been submitted to donors for additional funding to complement this.