As part of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)’s Urban Recovery Programme, in partnership with the Ninewah Governor’s Office, UN-Habitat rehabilitated 124 houses in Harden town for returnees representing the first phase of housing rehabilitation in Sinuni. The project was supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) with generous funding from KfW.
The project promotes sustainable and resilient towns for returnees — beneficiaries and rightful occupants — through the rehabilitation of housing and infrastructure. The community-led approach builds self-reliance of local communities and authorities; can ensure security, protection, and rights; generate a process that would allow families in need to build a basic secure home; cultivate a spirit of peacebuilding and community cohesiveness; and secure recovery investments that remain with the community.
In the ceremony, Ms. Yuko Otsuki, Deputy Head of UN-Habitat Iraq Programme underlined the strategic importance of this intervention to facilitate return, not only by the physical rehabilitation of damaged houses and infrastructure but also by addressing tenure rights of the returning families. She also expressed sincere appreciation for the partnership and engagement with the local authorities in Sinuni, and she confirmed UN-Habitat’s commitment to continue to work on urban recovery in the area.
On behalf of the people of Sinuni, the Mayor Mr. Nayeef Saydoo Qasem expressed his gratitude for the support and for the establishment of the UN-Habitat field office in Sinuni, particularly in an area suffering from underdevelopment, reiterating that “housing is critical to support the return of the displaced to Sinuni”. The restitution of housing rights for project beneficiaries was highlighted as a key component of the project that was facilitating returns.
Ms. Mizuho Yokoi, Programme Manager of UNDP ICRRP, acknowledged the effective partnership with the local authority in Sinuni and emphasised on the importance of this multi-dimensional intervention to enhance resilience of the local communities in Sinjar Mountain.
In Hardan village (45 KM to the west of Sinuni) where the 124 families returned to the rehabilitated houses, the village Mokhtar and community leader, Mr. Abu Nizar confirmed that “by rehabilitation of the houses and the only clinic in this remote village the project brought life back”.
For further information, please contact:
Alan Miran, Media and Communications Specialist, UN-Habitat