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WFP collaborates with Iraqi Universities to improve resilience as part of Zero Hunger efforts

BAGHDAD – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is collaborating with Iraqi academic institutions including the University of Basra, the University of Mosul and the University of Sulaymaniyah on activities aimed at reducing the risk of food insecurity in vulnerable communities through resilience building and climate change adaptation. The collaboration is part of efforts to make progress towards Strategic Development Goal (SDG) 2 “Zero Hunger.”

WFP signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the College of Agriculture – University of Basra focusing on creating opportunities for new graduates through capacity strengthening and training sessions for youth, with an aim to improve people’s food security. Together, WFP and the University of Basra launched a business incubator project to encourage youth to carve a path in entrepreneurship.

“The business incubator project launched by the University of Basra, in collaboration with WFP is an important first step towards utilising youth energies,” said the Dean of University of Basra, Dr. Sajid al-Noor. “The absence of work opportunities for fresh graduates for a number of years is a true waste of their potential and this project to fund graduate projects and create jobs is one of our innovative solutions.”

In parallel, WFP signed an MoU with the University of Mosul, to improve focusing resilience-building interventions on the most vulnerable groups, including those affected by climate change, and tailoring efforts to match the evolving needs of people who returned home after years of displacement. The University of Mosul is also assisting WFP via facilitating and supporting discussions with academic institutions all over the world, highlighting on the global level the needs of Iraqis in and around Mosul.

“We are engaging the power of Iraqi academia in our programming, to improve and streamline our assistance to families most in need,” said WFP Iraq Representative, Ally-Raza Qureshi. “Iraq is by tradition an academically rich country, and we hope that our partnerships with universities will yield results that best meet the needs of vulnerable communities, through work opportunities, help to confront climate change, all paving the way for more active collaboration with academic institutions.”

In the Kurdistan Region, WFP continues to collaborate closely with the University of Sulaymaniyah on the ‘Empowerment in Action’ (EMPACT): digital skills and English training youth project. Since 2017, WFP has been able to support tens of thousands of vulnerable youths and their families through skills development, building young people’s confidence and enabling them to access work opportunities online. Sulaymaniyah is one of several locations where WFP and partners run the EMPACT initiative, including Anbar, Baghdad, Duhok, Erbil and Mosul.

WFP intends to continue such productive collaboration with the academic sector and harness the existing capacities of institutions in Iraq, working to enhance them, and partner towards achieving food security in the country and ultimately Zero Hunger.


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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.


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Iraq Partnerships Zero Hunger Resilience


For more information please contact (email address:

Sharon Rapose, WFP Erbil,
Tel .+964 780 915 0962,

Saif al-Tatooz, WFP Baghdad,

Tel. +964 780 915 6198,