Wednesday, 18 January 2017 09:07

IOM Business Support Programmes Assist Displaced Iraqis

17 January 2017 Iraq - 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.”

Jamal Hlaib, Chairman of the Council of Resafa said: “We appreciate the support IOM provides to our community through these distributions. We are pleased to provide logistical support and protection to ensure a smooth distribution process for displaced people, so they can soon start their own businesses. We hope that this cooperation will continue; we thank IOM and donors.”

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: "The majority of the businesses IOM supports are successful because we provide personalized projects and programming. We pack as much training as possible into the time we have with beneficiaries, to support the implementation of their business plan. Our work takes a long-term perspective in Iraq, combining a variety of activities including life-saving emergency assistance, as well as long-term stabilization and development initiatives to support displaced people and local communities."

The IOM Community Transition and Recovery Programme encompasses an array of activities aimed at stabilizing communities in a post-conflict environment to facilitate their recovery and transition to peace. The overall goal is to increase access to income for displaced Iraqis, returnees and vulnerable members of the host community, while strengthening social cohesion in communities that have been recently retaken from ISIL.

Over the last 12 months, through projects funded by the United States, Canada and Japan, more than 500 beneficiaries received business development training, more than 430 small businesses were approved for assistance, and more than 130 individuals graduated from vocational training; these services will assist an estimated 3,000 individuals.

IOM’s strategy includes the Rapid Recovery Programme (RRP), aimed at providing immediate support to basic and often life-saving infrastructure and emergency livelihoods, in direct response to the urgent needs caused by the Mosul offensive. The RRP lays the groundwork for further recovery programming in conflict-affected areas. The Community Revitalization Programme (CRP) focuses on assisting communities during the recovery phase, specifically in rehabilitation of infrastructure, provision of specialized equipment, capacity building and local peacebuilding initiatives.

Mosul Emergency Has Now Displaced more than 160,000 Iraqis: IOM

Three months into the Mosul military operations, there are currently more than 160,000 people displaced from their homes as a result of ongoing military operations which began on 17 October 2016. Nearly 16,000 people have been displaced over the past five days (since January 13). Over 97% (156,252) of displaced people have moved within the governorate of Ninewa, the same area in which Mosul city is located.

Of the 26,806 families (160,836 individuals) currently displaced, 73% of are living in camp settings, while 14% are living in private settings and another 11% are sheltered in emergency sites. Around 1% are living in critical shelter arrangements such as unfinished buildings, or repurposed buildings. The majority are in desperate need of life-saving humanitarian assistance, especially in the cold winter weather and rain.

The latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Emergency Tracking figures on displacement from Mosul operations are available at:

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq. Sandra Black, Tel. +964 751 234 2550, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Jennifer Sparks, Tel: +964 751 740 1642, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Additional Info

  • Agency: IOM

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