Historic sites and cities
The conflict in Iraq has severely damaged the old city of Mosul. According to initial assessments, nearly 20,000 buildings were either damaged or destroyed. The level of destruction is unmatched since the Second World War. The western part of the old city was particularly affected and more than half of its buildings, including many iconic sites, were either harmed or destroyed. To accurately assess the destruction, UNESCO tasked Iconem, a company specialized in heritage digitization and scanning, to do a precise drone survey of the old city. In February 2018, the Director-General of UNESCO announced the launch of a major initiative to “Revive the spirit of Mosul”. Supported by the Prime Minister of Iraq and the United Nations Secretary-General, this initiative focuses on the human dimension of recovery efforts, through rehabilitation of cultural heritage and education for young people, including vocational training. Education and culture are key conditions for reviving the spirit of Mosul and ensuring the inhabitants, and all Iraqis, are truly the first actors in the recovery of the country. On Monday 23 April 2018, the UAE, UNESCO and Iraq launched a Historic $50m Partnership to Reconstruct Mosul’s Iconic al-Nouri Mosque and al-Hadba Minaret. UNESCO will organize a Scientific Conference in Summer 2018, as well as an International Donors Conference in September 2018 to fund the initiative's projects.