Iraq: Employment

International Development written question – answered on 15th March 2011.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps his Department has taken to encourage the development of employment opportunities in Iraq.

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The Department for International Development (DFID) is providing direct support for vocational training and higher education, as well as support for improvements to the business environment in order to help stimulate investment and job creation.

DFID established the Youth Employment Pilot Project (YEPP) in Basra, which provides unemployed young people with up to two months vocational training in a local college followed by up to 10 months employment in a local business. So far, 477 young people have completed their training and are now in work placements. DFID is also funding the British Council's Development Partnerships in Higher Education (DeIPHE) Iraq programme which is helping to strengthen the capacity of higher education institutions throughout the country.

DFID is supporting the World Bank's Private Sector Development programme to identify and tackle the constraints to private investment. Through support to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) DFID is also helping to increase the competiveness of small and medium-sized Iraqi enterprises through improved access to finance and business skills.

In Basra, a microfinance project which DFID funded from 2009-11 continues to make loans. It has so far provided loans to more than 1,000 people, which have been used to grow existing businesses and start-up new ones.

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