Restoration of Peace, Livelihoods, and Economic Cycles in Anbar, Iraq
Title: Restoration of Peace, Livelihoods, and Economic Cycles in Anbar, Iraq
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Planning, Iraq
Overall term: 2019 to 2022
The Iraqi province of Anbar is still suffering from the consequences of the conflict with the terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS). The occupation by IS and the international coalition’s fight against the terrorist group led to the displacement of large parts of the population and the destruction of the province’s infrastructure. Cities and rural areas are lacking reliable electricity, water and wastewater systems, as well as undamaged roads, hospitals, schools and markets. What little infrastructure remains is also used by around 1.3 million internally displaced people who returned home after the fighting ended.
In the past, Anbar was Iraq’s breadbasket, with its fertile land and a sufficient water supply from the Euphrates and surrounding lakes. Before the war, most of the province’s inhabitants worked in agriculture, enabling them to earn a living for themselves and their families. This applied in particular to women, over 40 per cent of whom were previously employed in agriculture.
However, due to the ruined infrastructure and old-fashioned farming methods, the farmers cannot currently compete with imported goods. There are very few employment opportunities, causing many people to leave the rural regions to look for work in the urban centres.
The ruined infrastructure has been reconstructed in selected municipalities in Anbar and the population’s living conditions have improved.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Planning, the project helps to rebuild local economic cycles and put general conditions in place that make the economy more resilient to crises. This helps the population in selected municipalities to boost their productivity and thereby increase their income. The project focuses in particular on assisting smallholder farmers.
For example, it is working with the Norwegian Refugee Council to repair over 16 kilometres of irrigation channels and install pump systems. The aim is to increase yields in an area measuring around 50 hectares. Up to 600 families are also being supplied with 300 greenhouses and trained in how to use them. In addition, training sessions on modern agricultural methods are being developed in cooperation with the University of Anbar and there are plans to establish a new training centre to make agriculture and entrepreneurship courses as practical as possible. In-depth knowledge of these topics gives young people in particular better prospects of finding a job or setting up their own company.
To boost the local market for agricultural products, sales spaces, warehouses and processing facilities are being repaired. This stimulates the entire value chain for agricultural products and makes business activities more sustainable.
The measures focusing on construction and stabilising livelihoods and business activities are complemented by peacebuilding initiatives. For example, to strengthen social cohesion in the municipalities, decision-makers and representatives are being trained to resolve conflicts peacefully, making them key multipliers for non-violent conflict transformation.
In order to address the actual needs, eMBeD analyses causes of conflicts and reasons for using traditional methods before it jointly with the project develops, implements and evaluates tailored activities.