According to UNHCR, approximately 250,000 Syrian refugees were registered in Iraq in 2019, and ongoing violence has also caused extensive internal displacement. Approximately 6.7 million people, which is 18% of the total population, need humanitarian assistance.
The people affected are concerned about protection for themselves and their families, with women and children in particular having limited access to essential services. Furthermore, 13% of IDPs and returnee households are female-headed and face a high risk of gender-based violence.
Employment opportunities are scarce by regional standards, and the ongoing economic and financial crisis is leading to a rise in unemployment.
The high influx of IDPs and Syrian refugees into the relatively safe Kurdistan Region of Iraq has left local governments and administrations there facing increasing pressure to provide infrastructure and services to vulnerable communities in poorer and remoter areas.
QUDRA in Iraq
In Iraq, Qudra 2 focuses on the following components while paying special attention to children, youth, women and other highly vulnerable population groups.
Strengthening the Capacities of Local Administrations (GIZ, HIA)
The objective of the action in KRI is to contribute to transparent, inclusive delivery capability of local administrations and other organisations with regard to basic services for IDPs, refugees and local populations in the four governorates of Erbil, Dohuk, Halabja and Sulaymaniyah.
The impact of the action is twofold:
- Strengthening administrative structures at the level of the governorates
- Supporting quick impact projects with direct benefits to refugees, IDPs and vulnerable host communities.
Qudra supports the Kurdistan Regional Government in strengthening the Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) and its governorates’ offices. JCC operates as a coordination hub of the region’s crisis response network. Qudra’s institutional and human capacity development efforts target essentially the strategic and operational levels in the priority areas of administration, management and leadership. This support is also provided to other government entities at the governorate level that work on strengthening resilience and sustainable development. This contributes developing sustainable structures and capacities within the local administrations to cope with the short and long-term effects of the current and future crises.
Further, jointly with the Kurdistan Regional Government and strong support from its political partner, the Ministry of Planning, Qudra set up a facility to provide funding and technical support for community-based projects benefiting refugees, IDPs and local population in host communities in order to improve access to and provision of basic services. Community participation and ownership are essential guiding principles. This action improves the living conditions of the local and displaced populations residing in the hosting communities.
Within the first funding cycle, projects will notably ensure that;
- 23,000 persons have access to electricity and water,
- the only pediatric ICU in Sulaymaniyah will be rehabilitated and modernised to better serve approximately 1,000 child patients yearly,
- 300 farmers will be supported through transfer of knowledge and provision of equipment in order to improve their livelihoods and boost the local economy for olives, dairy products, and wool,
- 600 families (approx. 3,000 persons) residing in Erbil’s Municipality 5 will get improved access to education, work, health care and other basic and social services through the rehabilitation of the access road.
- Duhok’s institutes for disabled children will have been supported through rehabilitating, renovating their premises and provision of equipment in order to create a safe, enabling environment for 223 children with disabilities. 25 teachers of these institutes will have received training.
- Injured, disabled Peshmerga will be socially and economically reintegrated into their communities, their transition into more sustainable livelihoods improved at the individual as well as the household level through starting small businesses (provision of equipment, supplies, livestock, transfer of knowledge).
EURO 600,000 in EUTF Madad and German Government funding has been allocated for this first funding cycle reaching more than 31,000 beneficiaries. The project design helps the local administrations to develop sustainable capacities and basic service delivery capabilities which will facilitate social stabilisation in the communities.
Enhancing access to employment opportunities for the target groups and generating income opportunities for the most vulnerable
One of the main challenges facing Iraq is a lack of economic and employment opportunities, which has a particularly strong impact on displaced people and returnees. Qudra 2 is facilitating access to and the provision of economic opportunities through skills development for employment promotion and small business start-ups, especially for youth and women, and supports public and private actors through training to promote job opportunities.
This will strengthen resilience, increase self-sufficiency, and help to develop sustainable livelihoods.
Qudra 2 is planning a grant system to provide effective employment and income options such as training medium / small enterprises in entrepreneurship, business development and marketing. These activities will be coordinated with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Baghdad and Erbil.
Providing a grant scheme for participatory community support projects and strengthening capacities of governmental institutions & civil society actors
After a comprehensive analysis to establish priorities, community needs are addressed through small investment measures and quick impact projects (QIPs) to enhance the delivery of basic services and infrastructure and improve the living conditions of the target group. As a guiding principle, target groups will play an active role in the assessment, planning and implementation of Qudra 2’s investment measures.
The programme will also strengthen the capacity of governmental institutions and local civil society organisations to constantly improve service delivery to the target groups according to their core mandates, which will increase resilience.
Fostering dialogue for exchange and innovation
Alongside its specific interventions, Qudra 2 will integrate efforts to address social tensions and promote community cohesion among refugees, IDPs, returnees and host communities throughout all components. Facilitating dialogue and providing safe spaces for action-oriented exchange and innovation involving groups of stakeholders and participants are regarded as complementary actions.