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Human Relief Foundation

Stabilization of Agriculture Cash for Work Project - Yathrib, Iraq

Human Relief Foundation, in partnership with UNDP, provided cash for work to residents in the agricultural town of Yathrib, Iraq, between January and May 2017.

January 2017 - May 2017
Project Summary

Human Relief Foundation, in partnership with UNDP, provided cash for work to residents in the agricultural town of Yathrib between January and May 2017. Activities were focused on rehabilitating farms, houses and managing solid waste. They included repairing irrigation pumps, clearing irrigation channels and repairing houses.

Project Context

Yathrib is an agricultural-based town located on the Tigris River. The majority of residents are farmers who farm the irrigated areas either side of the River Tigris. In recent years there have been a number of sectarian and religious-based conflicts in the area which have been exacerbated by the conflict between Daesh and the Government of Iraq. In addition, local militias are also dominant in the region. Consequently, the town has a high percentage of war-damaged buildings and there are five IDP camps located in Yathrib District. Therefore, infrastructural pressures are high.

Project outline

Together with UNDP, HRF set out to provide immediate support for returning and current residents. Linking livelihood stabilisation and enterprise recovery provides the building blocks for long-term recovery and a strong local economy. These are required to minimise the impacts of the regional conflict and deter extremism and sectarian-based violence which have been evident in all areas of Salah Al-Din governorate. As in HRFs previous stabilisation interventions, this project was not just about recovery and rehabilitation but also about re-building the community fabric including the social dimensions required for a just and fair society for the future of Iraq.


Agricultural land was prepared and farm inputs were provided to 70 farms. 35 irrigation pumps were repaired and seven large diesel pumps were installed. In addition, irrigation channels were filled with clean soil and lined with concrete.

Restocking activities involved the provision of 35 cows, 120 poultry, 100 sheep and 20 beekeepers being restocked.

73 houses were repaired and rehabilitated. Debris was cleared from the streets and moved to areas designated by the local council.

In total, 6698 cash for work days were completed over a period of five months, providing direct financial assistance to 850 males and 304 females.

Case Studies

The widow (Bushra) is a mother of eight children, her husband was killed by terrorist organizations because of his work as a soldier in the Iraqi forces. When her husband was killed, she fled with her children to Baghdad and lived in her family`s house for a year.

“I ... finally decided to go back to my house in Yathrib. When I saw my house I was shocked that the house was looted and burned completely. I was so miserable and desperate how I would restore my house? I was surprised one day by a knocking on my door... Young people from the Human Relief Foundation carrying papers asking me for some information... They saw the damage of the house from inside. They told me that I would be part of the UNDP grant to restore part of my house. I could not believe myself when they started working in the house and started renovating two rooms… When the work was done, tears fell from my eyes. They returned hope in life and in the future. Now I and my children can live safely in our house. Thank you UNDP.”

Umm Hussein is a widow with six children. She inherited land from her husband but because of her illness it was neglected.

“When the organization team came to my house I did not believe to be part of the program because I am poor and I have no one but only my God. But when they told me that I would be part of the grant and that my land would be cleaned, plowed and cultivated I could not believe myself and I said that this is a dream and it will end. I did not believe myself when I work in my land, plant trees that I thought was dead and would not benefit. My life was miserable and I felt sick and could not do anything. I feel now healthy and have no disease. You have given me the hope of life. I am now a second woman with a goal in life, growing and raising her children. I feel every day that I am sick and I suffer from pain in my head but after the organization started cleaning my land and planting it and planting it, I felt that my condition improved a lot. I gradually lost my pain and felt active, especially after I worked in my land farm… I now have hope of a second command of life…”

Yathrib Final Narrative Report

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