Shaimaa is a 44-year-old widow with a family of seven to look after, and lives in Aziz Balad, a remote village in the Salah Al-Din governorate of Iraq. This...Read more
Since 2014, Iraq has been the scene of what has been described as one of the biggest humanitarian emergencies in recent years. The number of refugees moving within the country's borders has risen to around 1.6 million, while those who have gradually returned to their places of origin number some 4.83 million.
As of 2019, the government has decreed the closure of a large part of the official refugee camps, generating tens of thousands more displaced persons, often in informal camps, in poor sanitary conditions. The system of primary public services, from health facilities to schools, is severely strained, resulting in socio-economic and social cohesion difficulties.
Despite the fact that Iraq has a very young population (almost 50% under 19 years old and 20% between 15 and 24), there are few opportunities for young people to re-enter an education path that will give them income opportunities: in 2020, unemployment was around 25%, while since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities have been further reduced. This is the challenge to revive an economy challenged by the conflict.
COOPI started its intervention in Iraq in 2017 with emergency education activities in favour of refugees and host communities in the south of Mosul district (Ninawa) and then in schools in Shirqat (Salah Al-Din).
From 2019, we are also intervening with projects in Water and Sanitation sector in the districts of Shirqat and Beiji, in the governorate of Salah Din, restoring water distribution and purification facilities destroyed during the ISIS occupation, as well as promoting the dissemination of good hygiene and water use practices. In early 2020, COOPI distributed 5,610 hygiene kits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.
Since 2021, COOPI has launched two Livelihood interventions in Shirqat and Sulaymaniya districts (Iraqi Kurdistan Region) for vocational training of youth and income generation: a step towards promoting greater autonomy in favour of the vulnerable population, youth and women.