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The humanitarian context in Iraq has transitioned into a new phase. Although Iraq is currently in a post-conflict landscape after the end of military operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), there are unpredictable dynamics throughout the country, impacting humanitarian programming. In tandem, new sources of instability are also emerging linked to rising poverty rates, delays in community reconciliation, lack of livelihood opportunities and political and social tensions which cause small-scale new displacement.

RNVDO believes that Livelihood programs have borne fruit in reducing poverty and build the linkage to economic growth. Livelihood programs were helpful in addressing the pessimistic outlook to life and replace it with renewed hopes for the future. Therefore RNVDO in cooperation with its partners (such as LWR, DCA, Cordaid and others) was able to identify and address some of the people needs through the assessments and studies that took place at the beginning of 2018.

The labor market assessment conducted in July 2018, selecting the training as attuned to local needs, through an initial needs assessment where the needs were identified, and the final design was decided. The initiative aimed to improve the employment ability of youth and help them establish a linkage with the local market.

The established livelihoods program provided the youth and women with skills that allow them to be engaged in the work force. The livelihood programs implemented in 2018 helped to promote unemployed youth (women and men) to become innovative, and contributors to peace building and improve their livelihood opportunities. The programs assist to improve the work opportunities through the linkages between the livelihood training programs and the market, which has a positive outcome on the families as well as the individual, as it improved their ability to have income that allows them to purchase items most needed for their families and afford further education, which in turn will contribute to the process of rebuilding communities and cultivating social cohesion.

“I have a job, I can come back home holding groceries, meat and stationery for my brother and sister, simply I’m happy” as expressed by one of the trainees.

 RNVDO supported the rehabilitation, water systems and schools in Mosul, Hamam Elalil, Hamdaniyah and Qayyarah districts, which also created earning opportunities for the communities through Cash for work.

The program conducted vocational training, life-skills training, Cash for work and cash grants for establishing local businesses for about 2019 persons who received VT such as barber, mobile maintenance, sewing, hairdressing, etc…, and reached 1400 persons who received life skills activities such as first aid, illiteracy. 100 persons benefited from the Cash for work activities and 40 persons received grants to start their new business.  These activities had a great impact on the well-being of the youth, it helped to improve their self-esteem, self-confidence and to become active citizens in the society, moreover it also helped them to change personal behaviors and social attitudes.

Women were also empowered with skills and opportunity to take charge of their own life and participated in the community. Women are making 52% of beneficiaries, mostly because they are more vulnerable than men and have limitation of movement. Because of that, the program was oriented toward women, and they were largely represented in the life skills and VT training, and some of them received grants through a cooperation and referral agreement between RNVDO and Islamic relief that consisted of referring the female household headed to receive grants to start their own businesses and start their own income generating career.

The total number of beneficiaries is 14,800