5 ways UNDP is supporting Iraq’s stabilisation

October 2, 2023

Iraq suffered immense devastation from the ISIL conflict, with widespread destruction of infrastructure and countless lives affected.

Photo: UNDP Iraq

The years of conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) left a trail of destruction in Iraq. Entire communities were uprooted, infrastructure turned to rubble, tearing apart the very fabric of Iraqi society. UNDP and the Government of Iraq go way back and have been partners since 1976. Post conflict, since 2015, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been working with the Government of Iraq and international partners to provide much-needed support from humanitarian aid to rehabilitation efforts to capacity-building projects. 

Efforts to rehabilitate Iraq and strengthen its peace and stability continue almost a decade after the conflict.

Photo: UNDP Iraq

UNDP remains committed to Iraq as it transitions towards stability and peace. There can be no development without peace and there can be no peace without development. These are two foundations that are mutually inclusive. Rallying together with the people of Iraq as they reclaim and rebuild their lives, UNDP in partnership with the Government of Iraq, through the support of international partners, continues to drive Iraq’s stabilisation and transformative development projects. Here are five ways UNDP, through its flagship programme Funding Facility for Stabilisation (FFS), supports Iraq's path to long-term peace and stability.


1. Rebuilding critical infrastructure 

UNDP has been instrumental in rehabilitating Iraq's infrastructure, including schools, health systems, electrical grids, water supplies, road networks, and homes. These projects not only improve the quality of life for millions of Iraqis but also create jobs and stimulate economic growth. By restoring these essential infrastructure and services, UNDP with its partners have created  a sense of normalcy that is vital for stability and encourages displaced families to return home, because they have something to go home to. 


2. Diversifying livelihoods

One of the key pillars of fostering security and stability is economic recovery. To help improve and stabilise Iraq’s economy, UNDP works to diversify livelihoods by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and providing skills training and job opportunities. Diversifying livelihoods and creating new job opportunities empower Iraqis to become more self-reliant and regain economic independence. 


3. Empowering vulnerable groups 

UNDP places a strong emphasis on empowering women, youth, people with disabilities, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) and advocating for their rights. To ensure that no one is left behind, UNDP actively engages communities in implementing its projects. UNDP also provides training and economic opportunities for vulnerable groups to give them the tools they need to secure stable income and improve their lives. 


4. Strengthening peace and governance 

Peace and good governance are both crucial for stability. UNDP works with the Government of Iraq to build effective and accountable institutions, promote the rule of law, and enhance local governance capacities. UNDP offers tailored training programmes and technical assistance to Iraqi ministries, institutions, and local directorates to improve their abilities to provide essential public services effectively. UNDP also works at the grassroots level and empowers local peace leaders with the skills and expertise to peacefully mediate and resolve disputes. 


5. Promoting environmental sustainability 

UNDP is actively contributing to Iraq's efforts to address environmental challenges. UNDP invests in renewable energy like solar power to reduce Iraq's dependence on fossil fuels. With water scarcity remaining a pressing issue in Iraq, UNDP helps manage and conserve water resources through the restoration of water treatment plants and the introduction of climate-resilient and sustainable farming techniques, which also help boost food security. 


Through the Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), UNDP has mobilized over US$1.5 billion from 30 international partners, which include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States of America. 

FFS works in 31 locations across the five liberated governorates of Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah Al-Din, and in nine major sectors – electricity, health, water, education, sewerage, livelihoods, municipalities, roads and bridges, and social cohesion.