Erbil – At an official ceremony at Erbil's historic Citadel, the Governorate of Erbil launched its Provincial Development Strategy. The ceremony was presided over by H.E. Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Mr. Nechirvan Barzani, and attended by members of the Council of Ministers, diplomatic corps and the Erbil Government. H.E. Governor of Erbil, Mr. Nawzad Hadi, presented the provincial strategy.
The ceremony was organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and the High Commission for Erbil Citadel Revitalization with support from UNDP’s Local Area Development Programme which is funded by the European Union. The ceremony included a breathtaking audiovisual performance and celebrated Erbil's role as the "capital of tolerance and diversity."
Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani praised the strategy saying: “The announcement of this strategic plan during such a difficult time demonstrates that the will and determination of our people for building a better future and for promoting tolerance and coexistence is much more stronger than the will of those who try to stop our path to prosperity and growth.”
UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, said: "This is a far-reaching strategy that builds on Erbil’s impressive record and lays the foundation for Erbil's continuing resilience and future growth. It has six smart goals and a realistic time-frame for implementation."
Erbil is the second governorate in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, after Sulaimaniyah, to officially launch its Provincial Development Strategy. Dohuk will launch its strategy in coming weeks. Through its pioneering Local Area Development Programme, UNDP is providing direct support to twelve Governorates to improve sector-wide planning and implementation, strengthen budget execution and service delivery, improve coordination between central and governorate levels and increase the participation of communities in local development.
The Head of the EU Liaison Office in Erbil, Mr. Patrick Geysen, said, “The EU, through UNDP’s expertise, is supporting the institutions in addressing current challenges, but relying on the leadership of national and local governments, civil society organizations and citizens at the national and local levels.”
Governor of Erbil, Mr. Nawzad Hadi, and Head of HCECR, Mr. Dara Al-Yacubi, addressed the audience, highlighting the role of Erbil in hosting internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees and recognizing the importance of the new strategy for accelerating Erbil's growth and sustainable human development.