Ramadi, 12 November 2013 - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Mr. Nickolay Mladebnov, travelled to Ramadi for the first time since he took office in Baghdad.
Mr. Mladenov was accompanied by a high level UN delegation, including the head of WHO in Iraq, Dr. Syed Jaffar Hussain, the head of UNDP Iraq, Mr. Adam Abdelmoula, the Representative of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Ms. Claire Bourgeois, and the head of ICODHA (Integrated Coordinated Office for Development and Humanitarian Affairs), Mr. Simon Strachan.
The UN team had constructive discussions with the Governor of Anbar, His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Khalaf, and the Members of the Council of Representatives, and addressed the numerous challenges faced by the largest governorate of Iraq.
As underlined by the head of WHO, Dr. Jaffar Hussain, Anbar presents the worst social indicators in the country. With no surprise, health care stands as one of the key priorities raised by the officials of the province, along with education. Water preservation and collaboration on natural resources issues and agricultures were also amid the priorities raised by the government representatives.
The lack of services constitutes one of the biggest challenges for the authorities of Anbar and the governor and his team emphasized on the urgent need for help from the UN, especially in capacity building, training and improving the infrastructures.
The governor thanked the UN for coming to Ramadi and emphasized that this was the biggest UN team which had ever visited Anbar since 2003.
Mr. Mladenov assured the governor and the members of the council of representatives that this was not the last meeting, and that the UN team would come back to work closely with and for the people of Anbar.
"We are here today despite the difficult security situation in Anbar, because the UN will operate everywhere in Iraq," Mr. Mladenov concluded.