OPEC member Iraq is planning to build 12 new residential cities within a post-war programme to tackle a housing crisis caused by war damage and a rapid population growth, the local press reported on Monday. 

The new projects are similar to the 'Bismaya City' which is being constructed near the capital Baghdad by the South Korean Hanwha Engineering and Construction Company, they said, quoting a statement by the National Investment Commission. 

“We are going ahead with plans to build 12 new cities in various governorates to provide houses for citizens at reasonable prices…these projects will be similar to Bismaya City,” said the statement, carried by Aliqtisad News and other Iraqi publications. 

Iraq awarded the $7.7-billion contract for Bismaya to Hanwha in May 2012 and work began in 2013 but was obstructed by internal hostilities and cash shortages. 

Located southeast of Baghdad, the project comprises nearly 100,000 houses and will accommodate around 600,000 people. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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