Thursday, 04 August 2016 03:00

Government of Italy supports UNHCR to help restore basic services in Diyala

Iraq, Sulaimanyiah - 4 August 2016: UNHCR in Iraq welcomes new funding announced by the Government of Italy of €441,500 to help support the restoration of essential infrastructure in Diyala Governorate. The project aims to provide infrastructural support to restore public services, helping to facilitate the reintegration of returning displaced Iraqis in Saadiya and Jalawla districts - areas which were briefly captured by extremist groups in late 2014. The conflict displaced around 20,000 families who fled to Khanaqin and surrounding governorates.


Some displaced families began returning to their homes last year after Saadiya and Jalawla came back under government control. However, the majority have not yet gone back because of the severe damage to key infrastructure and private property. The extent of the damage is estimated at 50% in Saadiya and 75% in Jalawla. The destruction, together with the the absence of many services, is one of the biggest obstacles preventing the return of displaced families.

In recent months, the local authorities have managed to partially restore some government schools, hospitals, electricity and water systems. Nonetheless, progress has been slow and UNHCR had recently appealed to the international community for additional support.

The rehabilitation project, to be to be funded by the Government of Italy and implemented by UNHCR and local partners, focuses on the restoration of electricity, through the installation of 20 transformers and associated running costs in each sub-district. The project also covers sanitation improvements, including providing two garbage trucks to remove solid waste in each location. A one-month public clean up campaign will also be carried out, bringing together different volunteer groups in the communities.

“Italy’s commitment in Iraq has a long tradition and this contribution is a further tangible sign of our determination to help the Iraqi people, deeply affected by the terrible violence caused by ISIL”, said Mr Marco Carnelos, Italy’s Ambassador to Iraq. 

“Our aim is to continue our support for the precious work of UNHCR in restoring peace and prosperity to those in the community who are trying to safely return to their homes”, he added.

“The generous contribution from the Government of Italy will facilitate the reintegration of Iraqi families returning to their homes in Diyala” said UNHCR’s Representative in Iraq, Bruno Geddo.

“The Iraqi government has faced challenges in restoring public services in all sectors, due mainly to widespread destruction of key infrastructure during the fighting, as well as lack of funding. We hope this contribution will go some way to help rebuilding in Saadiya and Jalawla”, Geddo added.

The work will start in August and is expected to finish by the end of 2016. This will immediately benefit the 8,000 families who have moved back to their original areas, while encouraging nearly 12,000 other displaced families to return home in the near future.

Italy is a major donor to UNHCR, providing over $ 10 million of unrestricted and regional funds in 2016.


For more information, please contact:

- In Baghdad:

Reem Suwaed, Public information Associate: + 9647801958468 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

- In Erbil:

Michael Prendergast, Associate External Relations & Reporting Officer: + 964 771 842 2190

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Yousif Mahmood, Executive Assistant: +964 770 670 0815 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNHCR


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