Iraq intends to seek investors and contractors to supply services to 15 new residential cities it intends to build, the country’s Housing and Construction Minister has said.

Benkin Rikani said the Ministry has devised a strategy to manage the new cities which will be constructed near Baghdad and other Iraqi governorates.

Quoted by the official Alsabah newspaper on Monday, Rikani said these projects are intended to tackle a festering housing crisis in the war-battered country, adding that they would not achieve that goal in the absence of modern services.

“The Ministry is planning to build 15 new residential cities in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq to resolve the housing problem that has deteriorated over the past year,” he said.

“These cities will be adjacent to the present cities in Iraq…we are also trying to find the right parties that will be supply essential services to these cities given their high costs.”

Rikani said the new cities near Baghdad would be located in the West, Northeast and Southeast but he did not provide details of such projects.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)