Mohammad Ali Hussain, 48, is a professor at the University of Mosul, College of Veterinary Medicine. While he is not teaching, he runs a pharmacy in Bab Al Sham neighborhood. A resident of the same area, he was forced to leave to protect himself and his family from ISIL.
Though when Mosul was finally liberated, Mohammad and his family returned home to absolute devastation. "When we returned, our house was damaged. But the most challenging part was that we had no electricity,” says Mohammad. “I was unable to get my pharmacy back up and running. I depend on the shop to fund my children’s education.”
The destruction in Mohammad’s neighborhood only made building back their lives harder. “Electricity is key to running my business. The substation that supplied electricity to our neighborhood was left destroyed. I have refrigerators to keep medicines and vaccines. If it is not preserved well, it will go to waste, and I will incur losses.”
To add to the problem, Mohammad had to use his savings to repair his house and shop. As a temporary solution, he purchased a generator. “Running a generator was expensive. I was forced to increase the price of the medicines. I lost customers by 50 percent." COVID-19 only heightened the situation.
The Bab Al Shams electricity substation that supplied power to Mohammad’s pharmacy and house was rehabilitated through USAID's support. Today, this benefits over 35,000 residents living in and around the substation. Similarly, over 740,000 people can now count on an improved electricity supply because of USAID-supported rehabilitation of substations across Mosul.
“Honestly, I am thrilled with the electricity supply right now. I have been able to decrease the overhead cost of running the pharmacy. As a result, my customers have started coming back to me." With Mohammad’s business back up and running, he now plans to upgrade his shop.
About the programme:
This project was implemented through UNDP’s flagship programme, the Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), with generous support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Since its inception in 2015, FFS has worked with the Government of Iraq and local actors to ensure safe, dignified, and voluntary returns and to lay the foundation for the successful reintegration of displaced populations into the community.
Till date, through the programme over 850 stabilization projects have been completed in Mosul alone, benefiting over 6.7 million people. Read more here.