UNDP in Iraq


About Us

UNDP in Iraq

Who we are

Iraq was a founding member of the United Nations in 1945. Present in Iraq since 1976, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is committed to supporting the Government and people of Iraq during their transition towards reconciliation, reform and stability. 

UNDP support’s the Government’s vision for a sustainable, peaceful Iraq through an approach that strengthens societal resilience to better deal with social, economic, environmental and political shocks and stresses.

Our guiding principles

Guided by the Country Programme Document (CPD) 2020-2024, UNDP supports four interlinked, inclusive and holistic development pathways. Underpinned by a resilience-based strategy that addresses the needs of the most vulnerable communities, the four pathways in the CPD are:

  1. Strengthened stabilization; 
  2. Diversified pro-poor economic growth for sustainable livelihoods;
  3. Improved governance with accountable institutions that protect the rights of vulnerable groups and pave the way for citizen-state trust; and
  4. Decreased fragility to climate change.

These pathways are reinforced by a strategy for achieving social cohesion, protection and inclusion, as critical to ensuring the humanitarian-peace-development nexus and forging a new social contract in Iraq.

All activities are developed in coordination with central, governorate and local level institutions to both build capacity and ensure long-term sustainability through an improved sense of ownership.

Our Successes

UNDP Iraq is the biggest implementer of stabilization activities in the country. Since programming began in 2015, more than $1bn has been mobilized from 27 donors for the implementation of approximately 3,000 projects. Stabilization focuses on repairing public infrastructure and providing essential services to communities liberated from ISIL. This includes rebuilding schools and hospitals, rehabilitating water systems and electricity networks, restoring private homes, and providing short-term employment in public works schemes and rehabilitating houses damaged by ISIL.

As a result of continued stabilization efforts, UNDP Iraq has provided more than 9 million Iraqis with better access to basic services like health, education, water and electricity. Over 95% of the work is contracted through the local private sector which not only reduces costs, but ensures local companies rebuild their own cities with local labour through the resumption of local economies, and the quick injection of emergency incomes.

Since 2014, UNDP has provided support to public institutions with a view to building a stronger, more diverse economy, including through the development of a Private Sector Engagement Action Plan in the KRI.

At the same time, on-going support for immediate and medium-term employment has been successfully undertaken, resulting in more than 85,000 livelihoods opportunities being created through cash-for-work, cash-grants, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) grants, business development training, and vocational and employability training.

UNDP is the lead partner supporting Security Sector Reform. Providing technical assistance and advice for the implementation of the Iraqi National Security Strategy and its corresponding Security Sector Reform Programme, including through the development of a local police road map and common standard operating procedures on criminal investigations, and the delivery of training for Iraqi police and criminal investigators.

UNDP Iraq draws on regional and global environment and climate change expertise to support evidence-based policy and analysis to inform national policies and action plans, working with national partners to identify and access climate financing opportunities and promote regional collaboration to address cross-boundary challenges and crises. In 2020, preparations for an achievable National Determined Contribution (NDC) began, with a view to finalize and present at COP26 in 2021.


4.7M IDPs supported to return home following the rehabilitation of key infrastructure in their communities


Provincial Development Plans and Sustainable Energy Action Plans developed across 12 Governorates to support improved public services, economic growth and job creation


IDPs, refugees and host community members have benefitted from immediate income opportunities through cash-for-work


IDPs and refugees benefitted from legal and psycho-social support services


Major dams strengthened through emergency preparedness planning and risk assessments


Local Peace Committees established in Anbar, Ninewa, and Salah al-Din