He is “ super excited to work because he knew he would help his family with the money he earned. He also mentioned that he greatly benefited from the training provided by the consortium. When asked how this project helped him, he replied: “The Cash-For-Work program helped me and my family a lot because we bought a lot of basic goods and services, such as clothes and food, with the money I received for work. “. He also felt useful and he gained more self-confidence by feeling that his work had an impact:-
Mahmood is 51 years old and lives in Al-Ba’aj (Ba’aj district, Ninewa governorate) with his 11 household members, six of whom are school students.
Mahmood is the sole breadwinner. He owns a small business that barely allows him to support himself and his family. However, the war and the conquest of the Islamic State ended most of the commercial exchanges in the city, creating great difficulty in working and earning a salary. Concerning the battle, he recalls: “The days of trouble have passed over me. During the crisis, I lived with my family’s days full of fear and dread ”.
However, the end of the rivalry did not bring the revival that Mahmood had hoped for. Although he had to work to support his family, his small business failed to function and generate a good income, while the possibility of finding another job did not exist. This situation caused great distress for Mahmood, when he saw his family forced to leave without basic necessities.
One day, at a meeting, he was told that Action contre la Faim would share the registration link on social networks, to receive a grant to support small projects. So Mahmood registered and applied to be selected for this initiative. She recalls that Action Against Hunger staff visited her at her home to get more information about her family and her living situation, while explaining to her the selection criteria.
“I was very worried about not getting the grant because there was competition, there were a lot of financially weak people in the area”, he says. When he was selected for the grant, he felt satisfied: he needed this support to expand, develop his project and get benefits to improve his family’s situation.
The training gave him new business knowledge and life skills. He claims to be completely benefited from training and used these skills effectively ” while doing his project.
The initiative provided by the consortium allows him to develop his project and provide the necessary goods and services to his city, which increases his sales and revenue. “ I was able to support my wife and children. I came home carrying the means to meet the needs of my family. It is a happiness that I look forward to continuing “.
Rebuilding after the duel
Food security and economic recovery are recognized as the backbone of long -term stability after conflict. Despite the end of the conflicts in Iraq, factors of instability remain across the country and economic stagnation is affecting almost every aspect of Iraqi society. A growing number of Iraqis are being forced to use negative coping strategies, including borrowing, turning to cheaper food, including nutritious foods, and consuming less food a day to cope with the lack of livelihood.
The war against the Islamic State had a severe impact on the livelihood of the inhabitants of the governors of Nineveh, Salah Al-Din, Diyala and Suleymaniah, and caused severe damage to the population living there, forced to flee and leave. his goods and property. These internally displaced populations largely found themselves in IDP camps.
The end of the war and the government’s announcement, by the end of 2020, of the closure of these camps, created new waves of displacement. Most people returned to their places of origin without any means of earning income while most of their assets (land, pets, shops) were destroyed by the fighting.
The majority of the poor population in these four governors is now below the poverty line due to lack of income. Many households today have to use negative coping mechanisms, such as food rationing, reducing quantity and selling their assets to obtain staples.
Economically support displaced people
Between August 2021 and February 2022, the Action Against Hunger (ACF)-in consortium with COOPI and two Iraqi organizations (i.e., HIO and YAO)-intervened with the governors of Nineveh, Salah Al-Din, Diyala and Suleymaniah to respond to the livelihood needs of recent evacuees and returnees by stimulating the local business environment, with a particular focus on women and youth.
This project, which targets internally displaced people as well as returnees living in transitional shelters and in the urban and peri-urban informal settlements of Ba’aj, Tooz Khurmato, Sulaymaniyah Markez and Khanaqin, aims meet the immediate needs of the most vulnerable in terms of livelihood. Through this project, Action Against Hunger provided temporary employment to 572 people, while contributing to the restoration of the local economic environment by awarding small grants for 82 businesses run by women and youth. .