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Informal settlements on the fringes of bigger cities have been growing rapidly.
Informal settlements on the fringes of bigger cities have been growing rapidly.

Budget Hike for Mashhad Unofficial Settlements

Budget Hike for Mashhad Unofficial Settlements

The government has earmarked 1,800 billion rials ($46 million) in the budget for the next fiscal year (starts March 21) for schemes to reduce social harm as well as augment social welfare and health indices in the informal settlements around Mashhad, capital of Khorasan Razavi Province.
The amount has doubled from the current year’s budget of over 900 billion rials ($23 million), IRNA reported.
According to Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, vice president and head of the Management and Planning Organization, the sixth economic development plan (2017-22) also focuses on combating social ills with priority given to what is geographically called the Makran belt (a semi-desert coastal region in  Baluchistan in southeastern Iran), and to unofficial settlements in urban areas.
 “A specific amount in the national budget is proposed for reducing social ills in unofficial settlements in urban areas,” said Nobakht during a visit to Mashhad’s informal residential areas.
Informal settlements on the fringes of bigger cities have been growing rapidly. Urban experts say imbalances in the provincial budgetary allocations have encouraged rural-urban migration, and the problems of outlying areas cannot be resolved so long as funding is not balanced.
Mashhad, the second largest city in the country is home to the shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the eighth Shia imam and has a population of nearly three million. It is said that almost one million of the city’s dwellers live in unofficial settlements.  Currently, 11 million people live in 2,800 informal settlements spread over 77,000 hectares in 91 cities in Iran.

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