Northern Iraq: Federal Minister Müller opens training centre at refugee camp

06.02.2017 – The centre provides refugees with training measures in manufacturing jobs such as joiner, plumber and electrician.

Last Friday, Dr. Gerd Müller, the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, opened a training centre at the Debaga refugee camp. Built by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the centre provides refugees with training measures in manufacturing jobs such as joiner, plumber, and electrician. The training measures are intended to benefit particularly women as well. They are learning how to repair mobile telephones, for example, or install domestic electrical appliances. 1,200 people will have an opportunity to take part in the courses over the coming six months. The objective is to enable refugees to earn a living and at the same time to counteract lethargy in the camp. When they return home after the war, it is hoped the skills they have acquired will help with reconstruction. The centre will be managed by the Swedish non-governmental organisation Qandil.

Debaga, originally a village of 2,500 inhabitants situated 40 kilometres south of Erbil in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, today houses four large refugee camps with a total population of around 40,000. Many people fled here following the capture of the city of Mosul by the terrorist militia Islamic State in summer 2014. With a population of just under three million, Mosul was the second-largest city in Iraq after Baghdad. In October 2016, the Iraqi army launched an offensive to recapture Mosul. Today it has won back control of the eastern half of the city as far as the banks of the River Tigris.

GIZ has been active in northern Iraq for two years. In the last nine months, it has successfully secured basic health care provision on behalf of BMZ for 65,000 people living in the refugee camps. Drinking water supplies have also been improved for almost one million people in Dohuk Governorate.

Thirteen schools have been established so far. A further 16 schools are currently under construction, ten of which will be completed in February 2017. This means that in total more than 47,000 children will be able to attend lessons here again.