The Third Consultative Meeting of the High-Level Advisory Panel for the Reconstruction of Iraq met in the Jordanian capital, Amman, 18 – 19 May to discuss funding and implementation of the UN-HABITAT Urban and Housing Rehabilitation Programme (UHRP).The meeting was held in advance of the just concluded conference in Doha, Qatar, 24 –25 May, which dedicated a special session to the housing sector including a presentation of the UHRP.
The High-Level Panel meeting welcomed the participation of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General a.i., Mr. Ross Mountain, his Adviser, Mr. Michael Dalton, of the Iraqi Ministries of Planning and Development Cooperation, Housing and Construction, and Municipalities and Public Works, and of seven development partner representatives, namely, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and USA.
It also noted with appreciation the first funding of USD 5.6 million allocated by the UNDG Trust Fund to the “Shelter Policy Formulation” programme proposal under the UHRP, and the establishment of the Iraqi National Habitat Council by the Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation, in line with the Concluding Statement of the Second Consultative Meeting of the Panel (February 2004). See New urban rehabilitation plan for Iraq
The Panel reiterated that the UHRP constitutes a holistic package for which fund raising should be carried out in a coordinated way jointly by the Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation and UN-HABITAT. In this connection, it recommended the recruitment of highly qualified national and international experts for expanding UN-HABITAT activities in Iraq. It stressed the need to maximise the involvement of Iraqi expertise in the UHRP.
The Panel also highlighted the importance of policy reforms in the urban and housing sector, building related capacities at national and local levels, public- private partnership and civil society participation in housing policy reforms and project implementation, as well as making use of internationally recognised best practices in Iraq.
UN-HABITAT is now concentrating on fund-raising for the UHRP and welcomes further funding commitments towards the programme, which is available upon request.