By Segen Moges,
AVSI-USA Project Officer supporting the “Achieving socio-economic stability of returnees, host community, and IDP’s in Iraq (ASET)” project funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).
Photos by Sara Melotti
The Islamic State (ISIS) caused havoc when they seized 40% of Iraq. They invaded the country in 2014 and ruthlessly destroyed basic infrastructures and businesses. The word ‘sad’ doesn’t really describe what I witnessed; it was heart wrenching! It has already been 4 years since ISIS was defeated, yet as you drive through the streets of Qaraqosh, there are still reminders of the destruction ISIS caused.
Since the liberation of Mosul in late 2017, the number of Iraqi returnees is increasing, but battered by violence, returnees face environmental and economic hardships. Through “ASET”, AVSI is helping address the immediate needs by restoring the production capacity and income generating activities of vulnerable returnees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and host community in the agricultural and breeding sectors. “ASET” is now in its second year of implementation. A total of 10,300 individuals will benefit from poultry farming, sheep and calves breeding activities, and ornamental plants, mushroom, olives, and honey production activities by the end of 2022.