Launch of Iraq Reports: Informality Diagnostic and The State of Vulnerable Workers and Small-Scale Enterprises in Iraq Eight Months into the COVID-19 Pandemic

The event will be an opportunity to present key findings and their implications on the transition to the formal economy in Iraq.

Informality, informal economic entities and workers in the informal economy have not received adequate attention at the policy and decision-making level in Iraq. The COVID-19 pandemic and its staggering impact on the economy and society, along with the collapse in oil prices, have brought the informal economy and its lack of inbuilt protections and resilience under the spotlight. The cumulative crises have shown the need for more robust social protection measures and systems, including the expansion of employment-based social insurance to workers currently beyond reach.

In response, UN agencies are working with partners to strengthen national capacity for collective responses, reduce the impact on the economy, strengthen social protection coverage and build resilience for future crises. This involves establishing a strong knowledge base on the evolving impact of the COVID-19 crisis on enterprises and the labour market as well as an informality diagnostic to better understand the dynamics of informality in Iraq, as well as opportunities and pathways towards greater formalization.


A joint partnership between UN agencies, development partners and Government was launched to conduct a diagnostic report on informality in the Iraqi labour market, which seeks to gain a better understanding of the informal economy and build a baseline for monitoring progress towards formalization; 
extract information on the causes and consequences of informality; 
provide insights on the types of activities that support the transition to formality for informal economy 
workers and economic units; and agree on priorities and responsibilities and to define an action plan and a road map for a policy 

These efforts also include a rapid assessment of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on households and enterprises in Iraq. A first report was published in July 2020 based on a phone survey which aimed to highlight the immediate effects of COVID-19 on vulnerable workers and their households, particularly on issues related to employment, income, economic conditions, and prospects for the immediate future. 

Launch event

An event to launch the findings of the two key reports will take place, bringing together key stakeholders involved in the transition to formality agenda in Iraq. These will include representatives from the Government, UN partners and development partners (including various UN agencies, INGOs, the EU and the Cash and Livelihoods Consortium for Iraq), tripartite partners, and civil society organisations.

The event is organised by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UN Women, the European Union (EU), the Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research (Fafo) and the Cash and Livelihoods Consortium for Iraq (CLCI), which is comprised of the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Mercy Corps, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Oxfam.


Simultaneous interpretation will be arranged between Arabic and English. 


Nov 27, 2021 09:30 to 1300 (Baghdad Time)

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