A two day workshop on the Iraqi Housing sector came to a close on Wednesday with a commitment from the minister in charge that she would incorporate the recommendations in her review of the national policy.
Mrs. Bayan Ismail, the Iraqi minister for Construction and Housing, told the workshop that the next review would take place in 2007 during which she would fully incorporate the recommendations.
The two day event was organized by UN-HABITAT in cooperation with the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation. Iraqi stakeholders discussed current challenges and the possible future of the Housing Sector based on the findings of a broad Housing Market Study. The workshop also marked the completion of the first phase of the UN funded project "Strengthening the Capacity of the Housing Sector in Iraq" implemented by UN-HABITAT.
In his remarks, Daniel Biau, Director of UN-HABITAT Regional and Technical Cooperation Division, insisted on the need to review the current national housing policy, particularly in the areas of land management, basic services and housing finance.
"The Workshop has discussed and verified the findings of the Housing Market Study and agreed on future policy directions. UN-HABITAT is looking forward to cooperating with the World Bank, IFC and other international partners in bringing forward the recommendations of the Workshop and setting a joint action plan for implementing the road map for reforms,” he said.
Jean-Marie Fakhouri, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, stressed the importance of the housing sector for economic development and social stability. Senior Iraqi officials from the Ministries of Finance, Municipalities and Public Works, Planning and Development Cooperation, Justice, and the Ministry of Housing in Kurdistan as well as donor representatives and regional partners participated actively in setting the way for housing policy reform and strategy formulation.