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Beautiful Missan Project: Working towards rehabilitation of recreational infrastructure and job creation

Funded by the European Union (EU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the Beautiful Missan project that focuses on the rehabilitation of recreational infrastructure and job creation. The two-year project supports socioeconomic growth through eco-tourism, restoration of cultural heritage and urban beautification. It is implemented in partnership with the Governorate of Missan and Oxfam, under the programme Supporting Recovery and Stability in Iraq through Local Development.

A townhall meeting, held in Missan on 28 October 2020, discussed the project activities and priorities with representatives of the local authorities, communities and academia, implementing organizations and other stakeholders.

Governor of Missan, Mr. Ali Dawe Lazim, said: “Through the resilience, hard work and commitment of our local population, we will work together to rebuild Missan and promote both our heritage and future potential. This project seeks to promote the role of women and youth in shaping and building a better future for all, for this we are very proud and hope other places will follow this example.” “I am very pleased to see the launch of this project in Missan,” said the European Union’s Chargé d’Affaires a.i. in Iraq, Mr. Jean Bernard Bolvin. “Missan is an extremely rich cultural and environmental area. The valorisation of the center of Al Amara, the rehabilitation of recreational sites and renovation of touristic spots within the city will create jobs and skills opportunities, especially for youth and women, and improve living conditions of communities during these very difficult times. But this project is also an important occasion to stay strong and build a future, to think of tourism opportunities that are forthcoming and to create stimulus for the private sector.

Led by the Governor, Mr. Ali Dawe Lazim, and with the help of the very resilient people of Missan, I am certain that the preservation and valorisation of the city area will provide long-term contribution to the socio-economic development plan for the Governorate. And I wish all our partners the best of success for this important project.” Resident Representative of UNDP Iraq, Ms. Zena Ali-Ahmad, said: “Missan has a wealth of natural resources and cultural heritage. Thanks to funding from the European Union and the cooperation of the local authorities, the Beautiful Missan project will help accelerate job creation, eco-tourism and economic development. We look forward to supporting the local communities and businesses to sustainably shape the future of their Governorate.”

Country Director of Oxfam in Iraq, Mr. Andres Gonzalez, stated: “This is an exciting opportunity for us to work with local communities and create job opportunities through initiatives that will enhance urban beautification, improve public spaces and promote local business. Iraq has experienced decades of socio-political and economic turmoil, but the resilience and fortitude of the Iraqi people never ceases to amaze, I have every confidence that this initiative will bring together communities from across Missan to collectively tackle the challenges they face –unemployment, poverty, poor infrastructure – and showcase the potential of Beautiful Missan to the rest of the world.”

Missan is one of the poorest governorates in Iraq and has a disproportionately high share of people living below the poverty line. A high population growth rate coupled with urbanization has put increased pressure on all service sectors. As unemployment remains high, the Beautiful Missan project will also focus on skills training and creating employment opportunities for women and youth in particular. This will be achieved through city renovation projects, as well as supporting and promoting small and medium enterprises and the tourism sector.

The programme Supporting Recovery and Stability in Iraq through Local Development aims at contributing to the stability and socio-economic development of Iraq through enhancing good governance at the local level. It is working to improve the ability of selected governorates to efficiently manage local government and public services. Economic growth and job creation are prioritized, with a focus on green projects, involving youth and women, in addition to enhancing the living conditions of returnees and in conflict affected areas.

Source: Reliefweb October 28, 2020.

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