Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), and UNDP Resident Representative in Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, gave the below interview to The Fiscal Times in response to a query on the scale of rebuilding needed to bring Mosul back to life.
How soon can the rebuilding of Mosul begin? Do mines and booby traps have to be cleared before work could get started?
Before any project begins, experts [from the UN Mine Action Service] check to ensure the area is free of explosive hazards. Immediate stabilization starts as soon as a district is declared safe by the Iraqi government, followed by expanded stabilization and then reconstruction.
Eastern Mosul is already recovering. Things are not perfect, but there is tangible, very visible progress. Schools and businesses are open, and nearly the entire population has returned to their neighbourhoods. The United Nations Development Programme’s Funding Facility for Stabilization, which focuses on immediate and expanded stabilization, has been active for months in eastern Mosul, and 230 projects are underway. Local contractors are repairing the electricity, water and sewage grids; and thousands of people are being employed on public schemes, upgrading infrastructure and restoring public facilities.
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