Background and objectives:
Local governments in Iraq lack the capacity and funds to deliver services and maintain basic infrastructure. Unemployment and poverty is high. Vulnerable groups including minorities, women, youth, IDPs, the disabled and the poor are marginalized and social problems such as gender inequality and sectarian conflict are widespread. This programme addresses the situation by using an area-based development approach for the implementation of comprehensive development projects in three areas, namely Sulaymaniyah, Hillah and the Marshlands, through the coordinated effort of seven UN agencies. The main objective is to improve living conditions and contribute to sustainable poverty reduction.
The programme supports:
- Comprehensive human rights-based, gender-sensitive local area development plans (LADPs) for the three areas, prepared and adopted by local authorities and stakeholders.
- Improved local business environment for small businesses, with the establishment of at least 80 new small enterprises and cooperatives, and enhanced employment skills for at least 1,500 residents.
- Improved housing and community infrastructure facilities, water, and increased environment awareness.
The main activities included:
- Establishment of programme offices in three areas within local authority, finalization of terms of reference for LADPs and establishment of local steering committees
- Local assessment of social, economic, and governance conditions and service delivery capacities of local authorities.
- Identification of fast track projects and priority economic development interventions in consultation with local authorities and stakeholders.
- Provision of capacity building and training to local authority officials to participate in the preparation of the local area development plans.
- Support the formulation of local area development plans.
The results achieved have been:
- In Suleimanyyah: Rehabilitation of one school 40 per cent completed. Rehabilitation of a second school started. University of Sulaymaniyah has completed training courses for unemployed youth and construction contractors.
- In Hillah: Rehabilitation of one school almost complete. Rehabilitation of a second school and the development of a local park started. The University of Babylon completed training courses for unemployed youth and construction contractors in Hillah.
- In the South: Baseline assessments and the identification of potential fast track projects in the three local areas underway.