By John Lee.
The Province of Diyala has urged the government to allocate resources for the construction of 33,000 new homes to replace its slums.
Rasem al-Ukaili, the official in charge of reconstruction and investment, said:
"The slums are an affront to the general well-being [of the population] ... There is urgent need for the construction of 33,000 housing units to tackle the phenomenon of haphazard housing (slums) by offering decent living conditions for the poor and the needy."
He went on to say that poverty and unemployment breed anxiety and violence and "the slums are having a negative impact".
The slums are scattered across 20 locations in the provincial capital and its outskirts, and are inhabited by low-income and impoverished families.