Over 11K new jobs created in Iraq with IOM support

Baghdad – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has provided financing to 2,424 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Iraq through its Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) since its initial launch in 2018, helping to create 11,217 new jobs and improve 12,980 already existing jobs for host, returnee and internally displaced communities alike.

EDF is an innovative programme designed to support livelihoods and rapid job creation by revitalizing the private sector and contributing to economic development, aligned with key priorities of the Government of Iraq. Iraqi SMEs recovering from the aftershocks of war, conflict, economic crises and the COVID-19 pandemic face a variety of challenges, most saliently access to finance due to limited capacity of financial institutions, high interest rates, and collateral requirements, as well as perception of high risk from financial institutions for IDPs, returnees and vulnerable populations. 

“I don’t only want the benefit for myself,” Ahmed, one of the beneficiaries said of his business’s growth after he received a grant from IOM. “I want to see all my employees and their families grow and prosper.” Ahmed received a $27,500 grant through IOM’s EDF that allowed him to further expand his bakery and add a new line of cakes. The 17 workers he had before the grant grew by another seven. 

“EDF is a key pillar in IOM’s comprehensive approach to achieve durable solutions for the Iraqi people in and areas of return and integration” said IOM Chief of Mission in Iraq, Mr. Giorgi Gigauri. “We believe that empowering businesses is critical for Iraq’s recovery and development, and we remain committed to working towards this goal together with affected communities and migrants, the Government of Iraq and international partners.” 

The EDF programme also includes adaptations tailored to specific sectors and groups of individuals, such as women, youth and farmers – allowing it to remain flexible, scalable and inclusive. For example, EDF-Women funds women-owned and women-staffed businesses to increase women’s participation in the private sector and labor market at large; while EDF-Tameer focuses on displacement-affected persons who want to restore or restart their businesses in their areas of return. 

EDF-Agriculture works to improve access and linkages to existing value chains for SMEs in all stages of agri-business, and EDF-Innovation provides funding to talented entrepreneurs to expand their early-stage start-ups. The newly launched EDF-Green targets innovators in sustainable development and those contributing to climate adaptation and resilience in Iraq.  targets innovators in sustainable development and those contributing to climate adaptation and resilience in Iraq.  

“A driving force behind Germany’s commitment in Iraq is to foster economic growth, create employment and – with this – contribute to social peace and stability. As part of our engagement we support IOM and the EDF to enable Iraqi businesses, contribute to strengthen the resilience of IDPs and empower women to become part of the work force”, said Dr. Maximilian Rasch, Chargé d´Affaires a.i. of the German Embassy. 

The EDF programme has been supported by the Government of Germany, the European Union, the Korea International Cooperation Agency, the Government of Finland, the Government of the United States, and the Government of Japan. 


To learn more about EDF, visit our website here

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SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 9 - Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure