Empowering Women through Agriculture

Violence and unrest in Iraq has affected everything from medical services to agriculture. Internally displaced people (IDPs) seek to sustain themselves in new communities, where they are limited by the scarcity of local resources. In August 2015, Relief International teamed with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to create a program that simultaneously creates local businesses and targets food insecurity.

To address the limited availability of food and to create jobs, RI identified key agricultural industries: Dairy, horticulture, fruit, legumes and oil seeds. Naturally abundant in the Daquq and Dibis districts of Kirkuk, developing these markets provides more affordable food. Additionally, jobs are created at the production, processing, marketing and distribution stages.

During the program, which runs through June 2016, RI will work with communities to expand these agricultural value chains by:

  • Training 200 women and creating female social cohesion groups
  • Training 10 people (at least 6 of them women) to be business trainers themselves on value chain development in an emergency context
  • Providing resources for 10 quick-impact projects that reinforce social cohesion

RI runs this program from Kirkuk with support from the Social Cohesion and Sustainable Livelihoods (SC&SL) Cluster.