US$300 Million to Improve Livelihoods and Create Jobs for 1.5 Million Poor Households in Iraq

A US$300 million World Bank project will improve the living conditions of over 1.5 million poor households in Iraq by increasing access to basic services and creating employment opportunities at the community level. Approved today by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors, the Social Fund for Development will finance community level subprojects in education, health, water, small-scale economic infrastructure, and access to markets.

The recent war against ISIS, coupled with the decline in oil prices since 2014, have severely impacted Iraq at the humanitarian, social, and economic levels. Poverty and unemployment rates increased, gains achieved in health and education were reversed, and agriculture production decreased, undermining the country’s food sufficiency. Furthermore, millions of Iraqis became internally displaced due to the conflict or were forced to migrate to urban areas looking for jobs and support. In this context, the Social Fund for Development project (SFD) aims to address the pressing needs of the poor and most vulnerable and provide them with livelihood opportunities and rapid employment across all of Iraq.