ILO in Iraq joins forces with local authorities in Dohuk to implement employment-intensive interventions

Supported by the Government of the Netherlands, the collaboration will help generate decent jobs for forcibly displaced persons and host community members in Iraq through water irrigation maintenance and solid waste management.

News | 18 December 2020
ILO News – The ILO in Iraq has joined forces with local authorities in the Governorate of Dohuk to implement integrated employment intensive investment programme (EIIP) interventions aimed at creating more than 180 decent jobs, as well as enhancing the employability of vulnerable groups, including Syrian refugees, internally displaced persons and host community members, while improving the local environment and infrastructure.

Supported by the Government of the Netherlands, these interventions are part of efforts being implemented under the Partnership for improving prospects for forcibly displaced persons and host communities (PROSPECTS) in Iraq, which seeks to improve access to employment, education and protection in the context of forced displacement.

“We are pleased to contribute to the creation of decent jobs for forcibly displaced people and vulnerable groups through these EIIP interventions,” said Mr. Hans Akerboom, Consul General of the Consulate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Erbil. “Together with other key areas of work, such as financial inclusion and supporting business start-ups, we can contribute in a positive way to make sure people have access to more and better decent job opportunities.”

The latest development follows the signing of two implementation agreements with the Directorates of Irrigation and Municipalities in the Dohuk Governorate. The former aims to repair and clean water irrigation channels and basins. This will help improve the efficiency of transporting water from the source to farm areas in five districts in the Duhok Governorate. The second agreement will improve solid waste management by increasing the capacity of the Kwashe Sorting Plant, through operating a second line at the plant, and building the capacity of the local communities to adopt sorting from source approaches.

“These interventions are part of the ILO’s Decent Work Country Programme for Iraq, which aims to support job creation, private sector development, social protection, labour governance and social dialogue,” said Maha Kattaa, ILO Iraq Country Coordinator. “In addition to providing short-term employment, we are also linking our work to sustainable and long-term opportunities and development, such as skills development, job matching, and entrepreneurship. In this case, we are also focusing on green jobs through irrigation and waste management.”

These initiatives will help enhance productivity on farms and improve environmental health in targeted areas. They will also generate short-term decent employment for vulnerable workers, including 50 per cent women, providing them with much-needed income.

“We would like to thank you for your support, especially in helping farmers during these uncertain circumstances and time of crisis,” said Heja Salih, Director of the Irrigation Directorate at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.

“This project will increase the number of workers and capacity for sorting, which is very important for us…in addition, those workers can make use of the capabilities they learn here for future (work opportunities),” added Hazim Silevany, Director of the Kwashe Sorting Plant under the General Directorate of Municipalities.

In brief:

  • EIIP will help create 184 short-term jobs for refugees, internally displaced persons and host community members. This is equivalent to around 10,000 worker days.
  • Around 50 per cent of those employed will be women.
  • EIIP interventions will help improve 50 KM of irrigation channels, and support the sorting of 240 TON of solid waste per day for 6 months.
  • The projects will engage the local community in different areas, such as recruitment processes, prioritizing needs, and adopting sustainable practices (such as sorting from source).
  • The EIIP team is working on other sectors as well to create decent jobs for forcibly displaced persons and host community members. Sectors include transportation, municipal services and public maintenance, linking these works with skills development opportunities and empowering private sector contractors.
  • The ILO is developing standard operations procedures (SOPs) for the EIIP approach, taking into consideration the unique context in Iraq. The SOPs cover relevant conditions that aim to provide an integrated employment intensive investment system and enhance the working environment and improve the accessibility of forcibly displaced persons to national services and decent jobs.
PROSPECTS is a global partnership which brings together the ILO, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank and operates in eight countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as well as the East/Horn of Africa. The ILO’s contribution to the partnership in Iraq includes EIIP, enterprise and skills development and efforts to enhance access to the labour market and social protection.