The International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s work in community stabilization is assisting Iraqis affected by displacement and conflict to generate their own income and engage in meaningful work.
This past week, IOM provided 47 displaced Iraqis with business support packages in Risafa, Baghdad. This livelihood assistance was funded by the Government of Canada and supported by the Risafa Local Council and the Baghdad Provincial Council.
The project aims to empower local communities such as Risafa, which are hosting large populations of displaced Iraqis, by contributing to the socio-economic inclusion of disadvantaged individuals. IOM supports the creation of employment opportunities and re-establishment of businesses; it also provides business packages across a variety of sectors, including retail, services, hospitality, trades and small-scale manufacturing.
Through the project, implemented across six governorates of Iraq, over 400 individuals have received business development services, including business development counseling. Of these, 380 individuals have received a business support package to start new businesses or enhance existing ones. These opportunities support income generation activities for 430 households, benefitting more than 2,500 people affected directly by the ongoing conflict.
Mahmoud, a 31-year-old beneficiary from Fallujah, said:
“Before, my life was stable. I worked as a blacksmith and I had my own shop. But the day ISIL came, I had to abandon the shop. They burned my house and destroyed my car. They told us that we should leave the city. When I came to Baghdad in 2014 I did not have anything.
“I am responsible for my family. My parents are elderly. My son has a heart problem and needs expensive treatments. Now IOM has given me a generator and a popcorn machine. I will start my business right away so I can earn money in order to support my family.”