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.
Promoting protection measures for the self-development and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults
Qudra 2 recognises the importance of handling psychological trauma professionally and works in cooperation with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to provide Iraqi health personnel with special training courses in Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) to strengthen their knowledge and skills and enable them to support Iraqi returnees, IDPs, Syrian refugees and host 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.