• Economic development and employment
  • Security, reconstruction and peace
  • Government and democracy


GIZ local staff

National employees: 348
International employees: 111
Development workers: 6

(as at: 31.12.2022)  

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been working in Iraq since 2014. A country office opened in Baghdad in 2018.

The number of internally displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees increased dramatically following the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011 and strengthening of the self-styled Islamic State (IS). Around 1.2 million Iraqis remain displaced in their own country. In addition, there are approximately 250,000 Syrian refugees living in camps and host communities in the north of Iraq. In total, more than four million people in Iraq were in need of humanitarian support in 2021.

In many regions of Iraq, the security situation remains unstable. This makes it difficult for internally displaced persons to return home and impacts the Iraqi population. There is a lack of income-generating opportunities and local administrations are barely able to provide public services.

Iraq is in an economic crisis. This is driven by instability, inflation, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, dependence on oil and a heavily subsidised public sector. The private sector therefore contributes relatively little to economic output and employment in Iraq. The lack of prospects particularly impacts young people, including returnees.

GIZ’s activities in Iraq are implemented primarily on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU). Its priority areas are:

  • Economic development and employment
  • Reconstruction and peacebuilding
  • Good governance

GIZ contributes to improving economic conditions in the country and supports young Iraqis in finding employment. These measures are being implemented in the autonomous region of Kurdistan and in central Iraq. Since 2018, for example, almost 56,000 Iraqis, around 30 per cent of them women, have found employment or started their own businesses.

In addition, GIZ supports refugees, internally displaced persons and host communities in Iraq in improving their living conditions. It achieves this by providing training courses, grants and psychosocial support. Since 2017, the focus has been on the reconstruction of areas in central Iraq liberated from IS and on economic development. Here, the aim is to promote social cohesion, create income opportunities and revitalise the local economy.

In order to ensure that Iraqis have better access to public services in future, GIZ is also supporting decentralisation of the Iraqi administration. To this end, it is working to improve the organisation and work processes.

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Projects and programmes

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In Focus

Displacement and Migration