Unemployed Iraqis get skills training with support of UNIDO, Germany and the US State Department Provincial Reconstruction Team
AL HAMDANIYAH, Iraq, 5 August 2011 – Some 28 residents of Al Hamdaniyah received certificates and technical start-up toolkits this week at a ceremony hosted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the U.S. Department of State Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Ninewa and the Mayor of Al Hamdaniyah.
With financial support from the Government of Germany, UNIDO is currently implementing the USD 5 million project “Promotion of micro-industries for accelerated and sustainable livelihood recovery” in the Ninewa Governorate in close partnership with the Ministries of Planning, Labour and Social Affairs, and the Office of the Governor of Ninewa.
“Ninewa is an important agricultural and industrial hub in Iraq,” said UNIDO Project Coordinator Jonathan Eischen, “but it has been plagued by unemployment especially among young people.”
“Our project offers up to 2000 vulnerable beneficiaries in Mosul, Talafar, Talkaif, Al Hamdaniyah, and Sinjar districts new skills. They are being trained in some 25 productive income generating skills such as wool shearing, food processing, welding, building construction, and aluminium fabrication. With these new skills and toolkits it is easier to increase productivity, obtain jobs or establish small scale businesses. The project is also helping revitalize small agro-industrial enterprises across Ninewa by introducing new technologies.”
Eischen added that UNIDO and the US Department of State’s PRT identified areas for cooperation, including skills training. “Specifically, the PRT wanted to leverage UNIDO’s technical expertise and capacity-building interventions in the agro-industrial and manufacturing sector to deliver skills training to vulnerable populations in the Governorate,” he said.
The PRT has provided contributions of over USD 600,000 to the project through beneficiary equipment, start-up toolkits, and rehabilitation and construction of vocational training facilities in the Governorate.
George N. Sibley, representing the U.S. Government in Ninewa, attended the ceremony and praised the cooperation between UNIDO and the United States, as well as the financial contribution of the Government of Germany.
"We are witnessing the graduation of beneficiaries trained by UNIDO and a USD 160,000 contribution from the Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team. The beneficiaries were trained in a variety of skills that include generator repair, industrial first aid, sewing, leather, and food processing in the Sinjar and Hamdanyia Districts. All graduates will receive a toolkit provided by the PRT to enable them to start their own businesses or to obtain gainful employment," said Sibley.
He also noted that the training culminated a two-year relationship between UNIDO, the PRT and the U.S. Army to co-finance multi-million dollar programmes to help vulnerable women and young people in Ninewa develop technical skills needed in the job market or in starting a business.
The collaboration with the PRT has strengthened UNIDO’s impact in the Governorate as well as the capacity of the Government of Iraq and Ninewa authorities to target additional unemployed persons and assist small agro-processing enterprises in the Governorate. The collaboration is a showcase for donor and government cooperation between UNIDO, Germany, USA and Iraq on how to enhance impact and pool funds and efforts.
The Iraq Programme is the second largest UNIDO country programme, after China. Most recently added to the Iraq Programme portfolio is a project in partnership with SCANIA, a global leader in the manufacturing of trucks, buses and engines. The project will expand access of Iraqis to job-oriented and demand-driven skills with the purpose of improving employability in the sectors of logistics, manufacturing and industrial maintenance of heavy machinery (trucks, engines, etc.). The project also aims to strengthen the institutional capacity of Iraq’s training centres to deliver up-to-date training courses relevant to the requirements of modern enterprises expanding and operating in Iraq today.
UNIDO has successfully implemented post-crises projects in many regions of the world, including in Afghanistan, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Uganda.
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UNIDO Project Coordinator