A young man uses a welding machine in a workshop.

Creating a better economic future for young people in Iraq

Private sector development and employment promotion/economic (re-)integration of young people in Iraq

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Cofinancier

    European Union (EU)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2017 to 2024

  • Products and expertise

    Economic development and employment


Following multiple violent conflicts, Iraq faces major challenges in establishing a stable economic and social order. A central topic is the creation of sufficient training and career opportunities for young adults aged between 15 and 35, who are particularly affected by the unstable economic situation.

The highly subsidised public sector is the largest employer and is pursued by many young job seekers in Iraq. The range and quality of vocational education and training are not in line with the needs of the labour market. This makes it particularly difficult for young people to get into work. Another challenge is how to integrate large numbers of returnees, internally displaced people and migrants.


The governments in federal Iraq and the autonomous Kurdish region are promoting the private sector and thus making it easier for young people to access the labour market.


The project supports the Iraqi Government in developing economic reforms in close cooperation with civil society groups and the private sector. The aim is to align policy development more closely with empirical data and the needs of the private sector.

Together with state training institutions, the project implements labour market-oriented training opportunities that allow young people to get into work.

To promote new jobs in the private sector, the project cooperates closely with local chambers and industry associations. Together, they develop advisory services for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), with a view to promoting growth and creating new jobs.

To date, around 20,000 young people in Iraq have received training and 3,200 job seekers have found employment. More than 950 MSMEs have taken part in training courses to promote growth. Moreover, measures have been run to support start-ups and 115 business ideas have been developed into detailed business development plans.

The European Union (EU) is involved in funding the project.

Last update: April 2023

Additional information