UN Agencies and Iraq Sign Agreement to Support Development Programmes

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–14 March 2011 – Three United Nations agencies and the Iraqi Government today signed an agreement under which the organizations will support the implementation of development programmes in the country over the next four years at an estimated cost $600 million dollars.

“These signings ensure the United Nations’ support in many critical areas of the Government of Iraq’s National Development Plan, including the attainment of its Millennium Development Goal [MDG] targets by 2015 to improve the well-being of the Iraqi population,” said Christine McNab, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq.

“Activities will be undertaken to build the Government of Iraq’s capacity to deliver essential services to those most in need, create employment opportunities, and strengthen mechanisms to improve governance and protect the fundamental rights of all citizens,” she added.

The three agencies that presented their Programme Action Plans to the Government are the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

The signing is an endorsement of the key results the agencies will deliver over the next four years in support of the Iraqi Government’s development agenda, the three agencies said in a joint statement.

The agencies will contribute to the creation of a public sector that delivers high quality and equitable services, especially in education, water and sanitation, and health services through the implementation of a public sector modernization programme.

They will also provide assistance to the rehabilitation of power stations, the building of new power ones and the clearance of mines and other remnants of war. New environmental programmes will be started in cooperation with the Government and local communities.

Support for a private sector development programme is intended to stimulate the creation of jobs in a more diversified economy and promote equal opportunities for men and women in education and employment.

The UN will also intensify efforts to strengthen the capacity of key institutions, such as the Council of Representatives and Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), to promote inclusive and participatory governance.

To accelerate efforts to tackle corruption, the UN will strengthen the capacity of the Iraqi Commission of Integrity.

The UN will also support the establishment of a human rights commission, and support rule of law initiatives that lead to the independence of the judiciary and access to justice for all, including women and children.