Market Mapping and Analysis - Construction and Service-sector Labour Market Systems: A study of the opportunities in employment for Iraqi IDPs and Syrian Refugees - Kurdistan Region of Iraq, December 2014
SECTION 1. Context
The landscape of displacement in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) has recently suffered significant changes. As a result to the continuous Syrian conflict, more than 220,000 Syrian refugees had reached KRI (UNHCR, December 2014). In addition, the fall of Mosul in June and the ISIS attacks have pushed more than 730,000 Iraqis (Arab muslims, Christians, Yazidis, etc.) to flee to Kurdistan (IOM, September 2014). Moreover, the political crisis between the Central Government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has reached a peak since February 2014, with political deadlocks around disagreements over budget allocations and oil revenues. Even though KRI had a progressing economic situation (with some sectors booming, like the construction sector), this situation has led to a stagnation of the economy. However, prospects of return for IDPs and Syrian refugees are yet low, as crises continue in their regions of origins. Humanitarian actors, which so far have focused their interventions on providing emergency relief, especially in refugee camps, are currently moving towards enhancing livelihood programming.
The Danish Refugee Council started working in Iraq in 2003 and currently has operational offices ingovernorates, including two in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), namely in Erbil and Duhok governorates. The Iraq project has developed over the last years from a project focusing on direct assistance to one that includes a strong emphasis on capacity development within protection, livelihood (early economic recovery).
DRC, supported by UNHCR and UNDP, is currently implementing a livelihood programme with two aspects: support to business development in camps (through business grants and trainings) and job placement within host communities. The agencies are looking at perspectives for supporting sustainability of livelihoods for the target population, especially Syrian refugees and IDPs. To that end, a Market System Mapping and Analysis was commissioned to assess opportunities in livelihood generation and access to income for the target groups.