We are pleased to announce that the Near East Foundation (NEF) has established an Iraq office. We will work to empower communities in Iraq that are recovering from conflict, building on our recent efforts to support Iraqi refugees in Jordan and on more than 100 years of experience advancing social and economic development across the Middle East.
After the end of combat operations in 2018, humanitarian assistance in Iraq entered a new phase. Instead of focusing only on immediate life-saving interventions, international non-governmental organizations are increasingly able to focus on the enduring needs of affected populations. These groups include internally displaced people, who face barriers to returning home, and returnees who lack access to needed services.
The Government of Iraq’s Sustainable Development Plan (Vision 3030) aims to increase security, stability and peace by building communities, developing solutions and promoting partnerships with the private sector.
NEF will support the aims of Vision 3030 through our deep experience combining livelihoods development with peacebuilding efforts. Over the coming years, NEF will prioritize work in districts with high numbers of recent returnees and those with high numbers of internally displaced people.
Our office in Iraq, like all of our offices, will be staffed and led by a local team. We are excited to welcome Kifah Al Shuwaysh to the NEF team as our Iraq Country Director. Mr Al Shuwaysh brings over 20 years of experience in international development and construction project management experience to this leadership position.
Our first project in Iraq, Building Resilient Livelihoods, is funded through a grant from the US State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). The project aims to increase access to livelihood support services and to improve income-generating activities among internally displaced Iraqis and vulnerable members of their host communities.
Since 1915, the Near East Foundation has worked in nearly fifty countries across the Middle East, Africa and Caucasus. Our current work supports inclusive economic development, climate resilient development, and peacebuilding and stabilization in nine countries: Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, and now, Iraq.