Anbar, Iraq 26 March 2019 - UN-Habitat handed over a total of 286 durable core houses in Ramadi, Fallujah and Karma in the Anbar Governorate constructed under the Gender-Sensitive Durable Shelter Support for Internally Displaced Persons in Iraq project funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by UN-Habitat. The houses have been constructed for vulnerable returnees whose houses were destroyed during the war.

The affected communities were closely involved in the choice of sites as well as the planning, design and construction of the houses. Basic infrastructure and services including roads, electricity, water and sewage networks were included at the planning stage, and the houses have been designed to allow for future expansion of living space horizontally or vertically.

The project contributes significantly to integration of urban planning and physical interventions for post-conflict recovery and resilience. It is a key pillar of the Housing Reconstruction Strategy jointly developed by the Government of Iraq and UN-Habitat as a guide for housing reconstruction and development in areas affected by conflict. 

The Deputy Governor of Anbar, Mr. Jasim Mohammed expressed the hope that peace and prosperity will return to Iraq with the support of the United Nations and the international community. He confirmed that the governorate will provide electricity, water and sanitation services to beneficiaries of the project. 

“I would like to extend my appreciation to all the people involved in this project. I sincerely hope houses constructed by this project will ease the suffering of vulnerable returnees,” said the Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Iraq, Mr. Naofumi Hashimoto. In addition to this project, Japan has committed a new assistance package for Iraq amounting to USD 63 million. The package includes a project by UN-Habitat to rehabilitate war-damaged houses and establish low-cost housing units for vulnerable returnees.

Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ms. Marta Ruedas commended the resilience of the population as evident in the progress made in reconstruction so far. She underscored the importance of the project as a model for the rest of Iraq. Thanking the Government of Japan and the Governorate of Anbar for their support, Ms. Ruedas affirmed the United Nations’ commitment to working through collaboration with governorate counterparts in Anbar.

“The new core-house settlements in Ramadi, Falluja and Karma were planned by UN-Habitat as city extensions where vulnerable returnees will have access to basic services and livelihood opportunities to enable them rebuild their lives,” noted Deputy Regional Director of UN-Habitat, Dr. Erfan Ali. The houses are built on sites adjacent to cities, ensuring access to basic services and sources of livelihood.