Baghdad — Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which employ roughly half of Iraq’s workers, were severely impacted by the conflict with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the resulting economic slowdown undermined the gradual progress SMEs had made toward recovery, exacerbating vulnerabilities and increasing economic challenges for Iraqi businesses and their workers.
These economic difficulties, combined with the impacts of dramatic environmental degradation across the country, underscore the need to support Iraqi workers and small and medium businesses on the path toward socioeconomic recovery.
The German Government, via KfW Development Bank, is supporting the International Organization for Migration’s continued efforts to boost economic recovery and sustainable job creation in Iraq by providing further funding for November 2021 through November 2025. This is the fourth such grant presented by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with financing provided through KfW; from the first grant in 2018, BMZ has now committed a total of EUR 86 million to IOM Iraq through KfW.
“The German Government and KfW’s continued generous support recognizes the link between migration and economic development in working toward durable solutions to displacement,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Giorgi Gigauri. “This continued partnership and additional funding will allow IOM to expand its support for livelihoods and job creation in collaboration with the Government of Iraq and local communities.”
The new project, “Contribute to the economic recovery of Iraq through employment creation and revitalization of local economies – Phase IV”, will build upon the experience of previous phases, particularly targeting vulnerable groups including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), returnees and other conflict-affected populations. Phase IV will also have a broad geographical reach to include more diverse Iraqi populations.
“We are very pleased that with this additional grant we are able to continue contributing to employment creation and the revitalization of local economies for vulnerable groups in Iraq,” said Dr. Anna-Christine Janke, Director of KfW Office Iraq.
With this funding from the German Government through KfW, IOM Iraq will increase support to the SME sector through the Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) mechanism, which contributes to sustainable job creation and private sector revitalization. IOM will also support efforts to increase women’s economic opportunity and participation and assist individuals to improve their employability through vocational training and the provision of business support packages for the establishment or expansion of micro-enterprises. Additionally, the funding will allow for continued rapid cash injections into communities in need via Cash-for-Work programmes, which also support reconstruction in communities still rebuilding after the ISIL conflict. Finally, IOM will rehabilitate key community infrastructure to enhance businesses consolidation and growth.
Since December 2018, the Government of Germany and IOM Iraq have supported a total of 369 SMEs through EDF grants, leading to the creation of 1,941 jobs. A further 3,146 individuals received microenterprise support packages or vocational training, 1,891 individuals have taken part in CfW activities aimed at improving their financial security, and 25 community-based economic infrastructure facilities have been rehabilitated.
For more information, please contact IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org