As part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) efforts in the reintegration of former volunteer fighters within the society, the Community Security Integration Pilot project (CSIP) funded by the Government of Japan, has awarded 87 former volunteer fighters vocational training certificates after more than 12 weeks of training in Electrical, Welding, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration courses delivered between January and November 2020. The certificates were endorsed by the Directorate of Education in Basra.

The Community Security Integration Pilot project (CSIP) supported the former volunteer fighters in Al-Qurna Directorate to reintegrate back to the economic workforce following their extended engagement in the fight against ISIL. During the twelve weeks of collaborative, team-based practical and theoretical training developed in coordination with Qurna Industrial Preparatory School (QIPS), CSIP also provided financial support to beneficiaries that allowed them to engage in the long training programme while supporting their families, in addition to receiving psychosocial support (PSS) including group and individual sessions provided in partnership with Directorate of Health professionals, and business skills training with a small business start-up grant upon successful completion of the programme. Beneficiaries were also trained to put a business plan and create personal resumes to increase their chances to access job opportunities.

The Director of Al-Qurna Industrial Preparatory School (QIPS), Mr. Raheem Fakhir Hanon, said during the certificate distribution ceremony said: “We are proud of our former volunteers fighters and are very grateful for UNDP support to reintegrate them within the society. This unique programme has manifested a great deal of success as it has involved trainees from different backgrounds and empowered them to be active individuals in their societies”.

The CSIP was launched in 2019 in Al -Qurna, Basra province under UNDP Security Sector Reform/ Rule of Law Programme with generous funding from the Government of Japan. The overall aim of the project was to support the most vulnerable groups in the community to increase their skills and emotional resilience to help them reintegrate back to the economic workforce, and thereby increase their economic stability through a combination of vocational, business training, psychosocial support (PSS) and grant assistance interventions with an emphasis on the security-development nexus.

UNDP will continue working to apply lessons learned in Qurna to support the transition of former volunteer fighters in Sinjar area of Ninevah Governorate to civilian life with additional support from the Government of Japan.

UNDP is grateful to the Government of Japan for its generous funding to undertake this important work.

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