Securing livelihoods for the local population and returnees

Project description

Title: Stabilisation of Livelihoods in Nineveh (Iraq)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Iraq
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Planning
Overall term: 2016 to 2020



Since early 2014, Nineveh Province in north-western Iraq has been the site of heavy fighting between the terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS) and other Islamist groups. More than 420,000 internally displaced persons from Nineveh are still unable to return to their homes.

Much of the basic infrastructure in the communities has been destroyed, with social services such as health care and education insufficiently available. In addition, large parts of the province are strewn with landmines.


The foundations for peaceful reconstruction have been strengthened. These include economic stabilisation of households, reconstruction of public infrastructure and the ability of the local population to resolve conflicts peacefully.


The project’s activities are helping promote peace, create prospects for young people, provide income and thus improve livelihoods. At the same time, the reconstruction of public infrastructure is designed to strengthen social cohesion within the communities.

In order to promote peace, a committee has been set up to plan, steer and coordinate all peacebuilding measures in Nineveh. It works at the coordination level of the United Nations (UN) and brings together representatives of the Iraqi Government, international and national (non-governmental) organisations and civil society. The project also supports peacebuilding activities at community level, such as negotiation and leadership training for tribal and religious leaders and young people’s groups.

Income-generating measures enable the local population to earn their own living while at the same time rebuilding the public infrastructure. This includes, for example, maintaining and cleaning roads, parks and community centres.   

In order to revive the local economy, micro-entrepreneurs receive funding they can use either to start a new business or rebuild their existing businesses. Prior to receiving support, the entrepreneurs attend business management training where they develop a business plan. This ensures that the funding helps strengthen the local economy.

Various educational opportunities are on offer to create prospects for young people. Children and young people who were unable to go to school during IS occupation receive weekend lessons at state-certified Accelerated Learning Centres to catch up on content they have missed. Young adults receive professional and technical vocational training and suitable internships are arranged to support them. To ensure that girls in particular can benefit from these services, trained mediators make families in the communities aware of the importance of education.



The Peace and Reconciliation Working Group, established in October 2018, holds regular meetings with the participation of over 30 different stakeholders. This group coordinates the peacebuilding activities of local and international (non) governmental organisations and the Iraqi Government. This avoids duplication of activities and identifies important peacebuilding issues that are not yet being addressed.

Awareness-raising campaigns are being conducted to convey peace principles and dialogue between religions throughout society. An example of this is the use of a brochure on the topic of interreligious peace developed by GIZ together with representatives of the Muslim, Yezidi and Christian communities.

Since 2016, more than 32,000 households have received financial support through cash for work activities. With the help of more than 130 projects within the various communities, participants have been able to earn their own income and at the same time repair public infrastructure. For example, 30 schools have been rebuilt, where more than 9,000 school pupils are now being taught.

In 2018, 11 Accelerated Learning Centres were opened, where more than 1,000 students are now catching up on their primary school education. More than 720 girls and boys have already passed their final examinations.


Further information