Nearly 7 million Iraqis are in need of humanitarian assistance following decades of conflict and displacement. In 2019, NEF undertook the historic step of establishing an office in Iraq to support long-term capacity building and recovery.
Inclusive Economic Development
As Iraq transitions from active conflict, expanding economic opportunities—especially among women and young people—will accelerate recovery and enable safe, dignified and voluntary returns. Our initial work in Iraq will focus on adapting our successful model for building livelihood resilience to the Iraq context. The Building Resilient Livelihoods project will use community-based livelihood support hubs, known as Siraj Centers, as a platform for building businesses and technical skills and addressing critical gaps in human capacity, access to capital, and integrated services that reach vulnerable communities.
Building Resilient Livelihoods
Most internally displaced people in Diyala and Salah al-Din Governorates intend to return to their areas of origin but face key obstacles including damaged homes, a lack of livelihood opportunities, and a lack of means to return. Unemployment rates in these regions are especially high and disproportionately affect women, youth, and internally displaced people.
NEF will serve vulnerable communities in Diyala and Salah al-Din, siting Siraj Centers in target neighborhoods that are proximate to a high density of internally displaced people and returnees. Over 2 years, NEF and partner Iraqi Al Amal will support 1,000 participants to develop sustainable livelihood capacities. Three livelihood pathways will provide the core of this work: micro- and home-based enterprises, vocational and employability training, and agricultural livelihoods support.