After months of displacement, 25 year-old Ayad: UNDP helped restart the life of my family in Tikrit

Cafe in Tikrit
With the support of FFIS, Ayad’s café now provides a valuable source of income for his family. Photo: UNDP Iraq/2016

Tikrit, 3 March 2016 - For 25 year-old Ayad, the café he owns in the city of Tikrit, in Salah al-Din Governorate in Iraq, with his three brothers is the realization of a life-long dream and a valuable source of income and stability for his family.

Highlights

  • Last year, when the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) invaded Tikrit, a nightmare began for Ayad and his family, who were forced to close the café and flee their home.
  • “Now I can see my community being rebuilt. Hopefully this progress will continue,” said Ayad
  • Through FFIS’s Cash for Work programme in newly liberated areas, 500 people, mostly youth, are receiving income and 120 shopkeepers have received small grants to reopen their businesses

Ayad enjoys providing a venue where patrons can come together, drink tea and play backgammon. Last year, when the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) invaded Tikrit, a nightmare began for Ayad and his family, who were forced to close the café and flee their home. The family was forced to separate and seek refuge in different parts of the country.

After months of displacement in search of safety, security, and a harassment-free environment, Ayad and his brothers were able to return home following the expulsion of ISIL from Tikrit. His parents and sister, however, remain trapped in an ISIL controlled territory.

Ayad sees the café as the only means of salvation for his family. He participated in the UNDP Cash for Work programme in Tikrit, financed through the Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization (FFIS). 

“The Cash for Work programme enabled me to re-establish my business and helped restart the life of my family,” said Ayad, who prefers to remain anonymous for security concerns. “Now I can see my community being rebuilt. Hopefully this progress will continue.”

Further receiving a micro-grant through FFIS, Ayad raised enough money to reopen and renovate the café. The money generated goes directly to support the basic needs of his parents, and eventually Ayad hopes to raise enough to pay for their return to Tikrit.

Through FFIS’s Cash for Work programme in newly liberated areas, 500 people, mostly youth, are receiving income and 120 shopkeepers have received small grants to reopen their businesses.

UNDP supports the Government of Iraq in its efforts to stabilize newly liberated areas by restoring delivery of basic services, jumpstarting the local economy, strengthening the leadership role of the Government and promoting community reconciliation.

 

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