Mosul: A city rebuilding itself from the ruins

Published: Dec 5, 2019 Reading time: 3 minutes
Mosul: A city rebuilding itself from the ruins
© People in Need

Once a prominent commercial centre for Iraq, many parts of Mosul now lie in ruins. The conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) destroyed both the local economy and large swathes of the city. Wages have plummeted and unemployment is at 80%.

Now that almost a million of Mosul’s residents have returned, the city urgently needs job creation and income opportunities in order to rebuild itself. A recent Labour Market Assessment by People in Need highlights some of the employment challenges facing the city.

That is why we are proud to have officially launched an innovative job creation project in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Funded by the European Union, through the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, the EU Madad Fund and Czech Republic Development Cooperation, the project will support Mosul’s official vocational training centre and access to employment centre.

“Our goal is to work with the government to create sustainable jobs which people need to rebuild their city,” says Hilde Bergsma, Iraq Country Director for People in Need. “We are doing this by supporting professional, accredited training courses, which provide practical skills that are currently in very short supply. Many of these areas require specialised machinery and training that only these vocational centres can provide.”

The courses supported will range from welding and carpentry to IT, and the project includes measures to ensure that they are accessible to even the poorest and most vulnerable in Mosul.

“We are providing trainees with stipends, to cover childcare and transport costs that would otherwise be obstacles to their attendance,” Bergsma explains. “Two of the vocational courses will be open to women only, to specifically boost their participation.”

The project has also been designed to link graduates with the local market. People in Need will be creating an employer database, providing 120 business grants to the most successful trainees, and linking 250 graduates to practical work placements. To help existing businesses in Mosul expand and hire more employees, 50 expansion grants will also be disbursed to selected small-to-medium enterprises in the area.

Rather than setting up parallel activities, this approach helps to strengthen the existing national infrastructure for job creation. Job creation forms is a critical part of a post-ISIL recovery strategy for Iraq, as extremism flourishes in areas with a lack of economic opportunities.

“As PIN we encourage this close working relationship with the official government vocational centre in Mosul, and are very excited to be strengthening the workforce,” Hilde Bergsma adds. “We would like to thank the Ministry for their vision in adopting this kind of partnership approach, and we hope other government departments will follow their example in the joint effort to rebuild Iraq.”

This two-year project is funded the European Union, through the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, the EU Madad Fund and Czech Republic Development Cooperation. It is part of a larger project for the recovery of Nineva governorate implemented by Alliance2015 partners ACTED, PIN, Welthungerhilfe (WHH), and Polish Humanitarian Action, benefiting an estimated 6 million people.

Author: Riona Judge McCormack and Léa Richard, People in Need

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