This year, we celebrate International Day Of Families during the unfolding of an unprecedented global health crisis. It is the families who bear the brunt of this crisis, sheltering their members from harm, caring for out-of-school children and, at the same time, continuing their work responsibilities.

In these difficult times, we recognize the encouragement and support of families worldwide, and are grateful for being able to spend time with them – whether it’s physically or virtually.


Photo: UNDP Iraq/Claire Thomas


Mother of five Zeitun Qasem Ido, 32, and her husband Gro Ibrahim Ido, 45, are pictured with their children in a home in Sinjar city.

Zeitun is nine months pregnant and is expecting to deliver her baby shortly. She feels stressed as there no hospital in Sinjar, and the road neighboring Tel Afar was badly damaged by ISIL and has not been repaired. It’s a critical road because it facilitates access to health services to pregnant women like Zeitun.

UNDP Iraq is trying to mobilize funding to rebuild the Tel Afar Road. To date, UNDP has completed 35 stabilization projects in Sinjar, including rehabilitation of schools and electricity networks.


Photo: UNDP Iraq/Claire Thomas


Nahida (right) is pictured with her daughter-in-law Rihab inside her home in West Mosul where she lives with her son Nazim, his wife Rihab and their five children.

Her home was damaged by ISIL and rehabilitated by UNDP “The work is excellent. We could not have asked for a better job. If UNDP did not rehabilitate this house, we would not be able to live here so comfortably. We would probably still be living in the damaged house,” she says.

Approximately 5,800 houses have been rehabilitated by UNDP in Mosul, benefitting about 40,000 people including 26,000 women.


Photo: UNDP Iraq


Farman and his daughter Zena prepare a dish of raw honey and bread - fresh from the hive - as mother, Khame watches on. “One teaspoon of honey each day will ensure a healthy life,” says Farman. Together, they produce honey to sell in their neighborhood on the Ninewa Plains.

Farman received five hives in 2017 as a part of a vocational training programme led by local NGO Zhako Small Village Project (ZSVP), with support from UNDP Iraq and the Government of Germany. In total, 200 households across the Ninewa Plains and Dohuk were selected to receive hives, along with safety clothes and tools, and training on beekeeping, business management and post-harvest marketing.


Yazidi woman Narayan holds her nephew outside her home in Bashiqa. Photo: UNDP Iraq/Claire Thomas


Thirty-two-year-old Narayan lost her husband to cancer about 12 years ago, leaving her with two young sons, now teenagers. ISIL destroyed almost everything she had — except, miraculously, a framed portrait of her husband, which at the time was wedged behind a dresser. It is displayed proudly in her sister-in-law’s home, where she currently lives.

UNDP has rehabilitated Naryan’s house, but she can’t move in yet — the debris next door is making it impossible for electricity and water to function in her own home. But she is hopeful. “I’m so thankful for the head-start UNDP has given me,” she says.


Photo: UNDP Iraq


Shagull and her father Meriwan stand outside their home in Halabja City in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Thanks to UNDP’s rehabilitation of the roads in her city, Shagull and her family now walk to and from the local school without getting wet and muddy feet in the rainy months.


Photo: Fatima Nasr, community reporter trained by Headway, UNDP Iraq.


Syrian Refugee Najma prepares bulgur with her mother and two children in her home in Qushtapa refugee camp, Erbil.

Najma received vocational training in hairdressing. She now co-runs the first female salon in the camp, built by UNDP Iraq Headway project and Helly Luv (a local female entrepreneur), to provide an income for her family.

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