Baghdad, 22 September 2015 – Some 50 officials drawn from the government and local authorities on Sunday participated in a seminar on the“Legal and Financial Frameworks to Address Solutions for Informal Settlements and Displacement Areas”

The seminar was organised by UN-Habitat in partnership with the Ministry of Planning and the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (US Department of State) and was aimed at supporting the Iraqi Government and local authorities to address durable solutions in informal settlements and IDP areas in addition to providing tenure security.

It was pursuant to the endorsement by Resolution No 279 of the Ministers’ Council in July of the road map of the National Programme for Regularizing and Rehabilitation of Informal Settlements and Displacement  Areas.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Salman Jumaily Minister of Planning confirmed the support of the Iraqi government to implement the national programme through its four pillars: Legal, Financial, Institutional and Technical.
The Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr. Mahdi Al’allaq (also Chair of the National Programme’s Steering Committee), and UN-Habitat’s Head of Iraq Programme, Mr. Erfan Ali outlined the progress of the programme, presented the working plan and emphasized the utilization of remote sensing tools as monitoring and planning solutions.
PRM Coordinator in Iraq Mr. Steve Hubler assured the continuation of the US Department of State’s support to this critical programme to help displaced citizens and inhabitants of informal areas.
Representatives of the Ministry of Planning (MoP), Ministry of Construction, Housing and Municipalities (MoCHM), Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Prime Minister Advisory Committee as well as members from service, legal and investment committees of the parliament discussed the content of the two legislation drafts. Prepared by UN-Habitat jointly with senior legal staff from the involved parties, these drafts aim to fit the social, political and economic changes that took place after 2003 and to propose alternatives to the legislations applied since 2001.
The participants, also discussed the structure and mechanism of a new Fund proposed to provide financial support to local administrations tasked to apply the different kinds of technical interventions in the identified Informal Settlements and IDP Areas. Several financial strategies have been considered in addition to the regular investment allocations of the ministries and governorates, including acquiring resources from land sharing, grants and loans.