Press Release

BEIT Project Showcases Criticality of Environmental Protection in Addressing Iraq’s Housing and Employment Challenges

24 June 2024

As Iraq steps up in meeting the challenges presented by climate change, the EU-funded Building Equitable and Inclusive Transformation (BEIT) Project implemented by three partnering UN agencies, aims to create a tangible model of how future sustainable development best practice can bolster housing, employment and private sector development. 

A meeting to introduce the project to the Ministry of Environment was held on 5th June 2024. The meeting was well attended by representatives from the EU, project partners and officials from the Ministry of Environment. 

The BEIT project is implemented by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) in partnership with the Government of Iraq. It aims to stimulate decent work opportunities for young women and men while addressing the urgent need for affordable housing.  BEIT is one of the major projects in the EU’s cooperation with Iraq for the country’s stabilisation with ultimate benefit for Iraqi citizens. The EU is glad to share their own experience and knowledge in this sector.  

In his opening remarks, Mr. Tsvetomir Tsekov, the Programme Manager of the European Union Delegation to Iraq underscored the need for innovative, green solutions to address the growing environmental challenges presented by urbanization and the impacts of climate change. It was outlined that the BEIT initiative employs a holistic approach to address the enormous housing needs, rapid urbanization and mitigating climate change through simultaneously creating affordable green housing, while creating jobs and empowering SMEs . 

The Ministry of Environment, represented by the Mr. Muthanna Hassan Saloumi, Director of the Urban Environment Directorate, stressed the efforts undertaken by the Government of Iraq in seeking to address the challenges imposed by climate change through a strategic approach.   This approach considers the fragile nature of Iraq, its need to diversify from oil dependency, national priorities, and ensures policy, regulatory, and capacity building interventions to facilitate the sustainable development. 

The BEIT programme presents concrete strategies that aim to address climate change, including sustainable construction practices, green energy efficient homes, compact land use developments, climate-sensitive designs, centres for green technology, climate awareness raising programs, climate smart construction techniques by private sector MSMEs and support to green trade and investment policies.

Following the presentations, there followed reflections from officials of the Ministry of Environment in which they highlighted the need to comply with the environmental regulatory framework, develop green spaces, adopt good green practices, and the advantages of integrating traditional materials and concepts that have worked well in the Iraqi context. The meeting called for the houses to be built to be affordable, located within vulnerable populations, and integrate innovativeness, green jobs and promotion of private sector development. 

UN entities involved in this initiative

International Labour Organization
International Trade Centre
United Nations Human Settlements Programme

Goals we are supporting through this initiative