Parliamentarians Seminar on the New Legal Framework to Address Informal Settlements in Iraq
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Baghdad, 4 December 2017 – Following to the Cabinet’s endorsement on the draft legal framework to address informal settlements and to prevent encroachments on public lands, the Ministry of Planning and the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), organized an orientation seminar with the heads and members of the Legal, Services, Security and Defense committees in the Iraqi Parliament in preparation for the official discussion of the draft legislation.
The General Secretary of the Council of Ministers H.E. Dr. Mahdi Al Allaq, opened the event and presented the efforts of the Government through the Poverty Reduction Strategy under which the “National Programme for Regularization and Rehabilitation of Informal Settlements and IDPs Areas” has been established with UN-Habitat. Dr. Al Allaq referred that more than three million Iraqis currently live in more than 3,600 informal settlements, exacerbating the burden of the Iraqi cities which are already strained by the repercussion of the displacement crisis. He added that under the ongoing national programme, the institutional setup was established and technical, legal and financial solutions introduced and called for the support of the parliamentarians to conclude the discussion process and ratification of the new legal framework.
The Parliamentarians confirmed their positive approach towards this initiative and emphasized on the critical need to address comprehensive and sustainable solutions for the informal areas. They referred to the resulted challenges related to buildable lands scarcity, the obstacles to change the official land description. They called the Government to consider the establishment of new cities and to avoid the impact of demographic changes due to the uncontrollable urban encroachments. The head of the Services Committee suggested to organize a comprehensive presentation about the national programme and the draft legal framework and its social, economic and environmental impact to be hosted in the Parliament to ensure wider understanding and to facilitate the way forward.
This seminar was organized within the framework of the National Programme for Regularization and Rehabilitation of Informal Settlements and IDPs Areas which is implemented by UN-Habitat and funded by the Office of Refugees and IDP Affairs at the US Embassy.