After much of Mosul was left in ruins following life under ISIS, the UN is piloting a project to help reconstruct 15,000 in the Old City, providing employment opportunities for young people in the process.
A rehabilitation project has commenced in the Old City of Mosul, which aims to rebuild 15,000 homes destroyed by ISIS during the battle against the group. The project, which is being coordinated by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), attempts to rehabilitate the homes so that displaced people from Mosul can return and normalcy can resume to the city.
The UN estimated that 11 million tonnes of rubble was left scattered around Mosul following the liberation of the city in July 2017. As a result, campaigns and initiatives to clean the city and rebuild homes have been ongoing to ensure the safe return of civilians.
“This project is one of the programs carried out by the United Nations to return stability to the areas affected by terrorist acts, in coordination with the Iraqi government and donor countries such as the United Arab Emirates,” said M. Ahmed Jameel the director of the rehabilitation project in west Mosul. “The project aims to rehabilitate 15,000 houses in 29 areas, and the work is focused on Mosul’s Old City because it is the most affected area.”
According to the organisers of this project, the restoration of over 2,000 homes have been completed, with work underway on a further 4,500 homes across 13 neighbourhoods in Mosul.
Citizens from the city have welcomed this project saying that it gives them hope that they will one day return to their homes with their families, and restart their lives once again.
Furthermore, the project sought not only to serve the people of Mosul by rebuilding their homes but also by employing hundreds of jobless youth throughout the city.
“We suffered for a long time from unemployment until the UNDP created jobs for us in the old city,” said Jassim Mohammed Khidr, a young man from Mosul, now working as a construction worker in the UNDP rehabilitation project. “Now we are working and supporting our families after we were unemployed, and also, we are rebuilding our city.”
While complete rehabilitation of Mosul will take about ten years according to UN estimates, the efforts of the Iraqi Government, international organisations, and volunteers are positive steps towards the return of displaced Iraqis, and the return of life to the second largest city in Iraq, Mosul.