Rebuilding Iraq with USAID: A Story of Progress and Partnership

Over five years ago, the Iraqi Security Forces freed Iraq from the grip of Daesh. Since then, they have worked tirelessly and sacrificed greatly to improve the country’s security. As a result, organisations such as USAID have been able to offer their support in the restoration of essential services, reconstruction of critical infrastructure, and resettlement of displaced individuals. 

USAID, a leading partner of the Global Coalition and the largest donor to the UNDP Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), is at the forefront of these efforts. In fact, their work in Iraq is a testament to how aid, development, and international cooperation can lead to real and lasting change for millions of people. 

Since 2015, the FFS, which was established at the initiative of the Global Coalition, has helped bring together dozens of donors and raised billions of dollars to support those most affected by Daesh’s occupation. USAID alone has contributed over $405 million to the FFS.

As of September 2022, about 1.2 million Iraqis remain displaced, while some areas once occupied by Daesh continue to struggle with a lack of basic services and infrastructure. But thanks to the efforts of organisations like USAID, over 4.8 million Iraqis have been able to return home, while thousands of rehabilitation projects — ensuring access to clean water, reliable electricity, health care, and public education for millions of people — have been completed. 

USAID has supported over 900 of these projects since 2015. These projects include the rehabilitation of 152 schools, 64 water treatment plants, 25 primary health care clinics, 22 substations, and three hospitals. Together, they have helped countless displaced Iraqis return home safely, while providing even more people access to the basic services, health care, and education they need to rebuild and resume their lives. 

USAID continually adapts to the evolving needs of Iraqis and strives to stay ahead of potential challenges. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, USAID rehabilitated the East Mosul Medical Fluids Factory and funded several COVID-19 isolation wards in nine provinces. These initiatives strengthened Iraq’s medical supply chain and provided lifesaving health care to millions of Iraqis at the height of the pandemic. 

At the same time, USAID is helping Iraqis cope with the consequences of climate change, especially the growing issue of water scarcity. In the past few years alone, the organisation has upgraded operations and maintenance of 70 water treatment plants across 11 provinces, providing over eight million Iraqis with access to clean water. USAID has also equipped the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources with a state-of-the-art water management system to help the Government of Iraq make strategic decisions on water conservation and mitigate the effects of the climate crisis.

As USAID addresses water scarcity in Iraq, it is also taking decisive action to empower Iraqi women. Despite representing half of the population, only one in ten women in Iraq participate in the workforce. Discriminatory attitudes and limited access to resources, including education and training, hold too many Iraqi women back. That is why USAID is supporting female entrepreneurs like Basima Abdulrahman, a civil engineer from Erbil. Basima founded Kesk — one of the first companies in Iraq to offer green building design and consulting services. After enrolling in the USAID start-up accelerator program, Basima doubled her team and expanded into new markets. She has greatly contributed to her country’s economic development and become a beacon of inspiration for other Iraqi women.

As Iraqis continue to rebuild, they can count on the Global Coalition and USAID’s enduring support. We are dedicated to ensuring lasting security, cohesion, and prosperity in Iraq, and we will keep bringing hope and opportunity to millions of people in Iraq and around the world.

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