With the signed commitment of the three Churches, ACN has started to contribute in the following way:
Baseline and Return Intention Surveys
End 2016 and start 2017, ACN in coordination with the fledgling NRC, commissioned two surveys: A Damage Assessment Survey as well as a Population Intent Survey. In the Damage Assessment Survey engineering teams cataloged the level of destruction of private homes, schools and health clinics, and religious buildings (survey phases 1, 2, and 3, respectively) and calculated a cost estimate for reconstruction. A draft phase 1 report was submitted on 5 February 2017 and most recently updated mid-April 2017. These initial findings constitute a Baseline Survey which serves as the basis of the damage assessment, housing reconstruction costs and the finances to be given to each Church (ratio according to Church population).
Concurrently ACN commissioned two Population Intent Surveys of those Christian families who fled to Erbil from the affected regions: one in November 2016 and a second in February 2017. In the November 2016 survey only 3.28% of the respondents wanted to return to their native villages; at that time, the security situation in the liberated region was still fragile and combat operations were still ongoing. In the follow up February 2017 survey, 41% indicated that they wanted to return to their native villages and 46 per cent said that they were considering it. ACN expects a further rise in intentions once IDP families in Erbil see the progress being made in Telleskuf, where rebuilding efforts began in early February.
Based in these results, ACN will prioritize support for the initial rebuilding of 100 houses for Christian IDPs and refugees who have declared their intention to return.
ACN is very aware that world policy-makers are ignorant of both the plight of the Nineveh Plains’ population and the challenges facing them, therefore ACN proposes an advocacy strategy to both inform the outside world and seek financial assistance for our project partners.
ACN will promote joint advocacy in order to increase credibility and avoid confusion among government officials and international donors. Joint advocacy tours are in the process of being organized, with priority given to UN, followed by the US Congress, the EU in Brussels as well as certain member states. In addition to governments, the tours will include visits to relevant large charities.
Funding secured from advocacy efforts will be channeled through the NRC and distributed proportionally, taking into account the Baseline Survey. Individual Churches will remain free to seek additional support, but should report all reconstruction funds to the committee.
The Nineveh Reconstruction Committee (NRC)
The Nineveh Reconstruction Committee is composed of 2 representatives from each Church (Chaldean, Syriac Catholic, Syriac Orthodox) each granted the full authority by their respective Church leadership. ACN has named two of three experts: a technical advisor (to liaise with the engineers) and an administrator for project writing and the financial oversight. A coordinator (to mediate between the rites and oversee the project) is yet to be named. Bank accounts for each Church are also established.
The main tasks of the NRC, meeting weekly, will be to:
- Prioritize the projects to be implemented
- Agree on and maintain an ambitious but realistic timetable
- Ensure a single standard for cost estimations
- Assure that resources are distributed according to the ratios defined by the Damage Assessment Survey
- Prevent conflicts of interest
- Ensure proper use of funds
- Provide a regular progress reports that will inform any necessary adjustments to the project
- Strengthen solidarity among the Christian rites
- Provide transparent reporting