Whilst significant progress has been made since Iraq’s liberation from ISIL in December 2017, communities across Iraq still bear the physical and emotional scars of protracted conflict. Critical services – from electricity and water, education and health – were disabled during occupation and liberation due to heavy damages or in some cases total destruction, whilst unemployment spiked in the most effected governorates – from 12.6 per cent to 17.7 per cent between 2014 and 2017* – and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) increased strain on host communities, due to the increased demand for jobs.

Today, while many Iraqis have returned home, the rate of return has slowed, with around 1.1 million people remaining in host communities across Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). In many cases, communities experiencing a scarcity of resources now face a multiplicity of social challenges resulting from on-going competition for housing, employment and public services. Together with a lack of security, these concerns remain a key obstacle for host communities and facilitating displaced people's return.

UNDP leads the stabilization agenda in Iraq, supporting the Government of Iraq’s crisis response and recovery efforts through the rehabilitation and restoration of basic infrastructure and services in areas most affected during the ISIL conflict, and in communities hosting a high number of IDPs and refugees. Stabilization activities are designed holistically and in consultation with the Government of Iraq, working to safeguard against the resurgence of violence and extremism by restoring essential services, facilitating employment opportunities, and building cohesive, peaceful communities.  

UNDP prioritizes the improved capacity of the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, with an aim to ensure sustainable recovery and increased ownership, through continuous consultation and collaborative oversight of activities e.g., the joint evaluation, planning and monitoring of infrastructure projects between UNDP engineers and engineers from the relevant government line ministry. 


*2017 SWIFT data and World Bank calculations.