Khalid struggles to make life in a new environment



From Iraq

With funding from the World Food Program (WFP), the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is implementing a Cash-for-Work project that is providing temporary employment for 1,500 extremely vulnerable households in Diyala Governorate.

A 3.5 kilometer irrigation channel is needed to bring water to the arid stretch of land that is used for communal farming on the outskirt of Khananqin, in Iraq. For the rehabilitation of this channel in Alyawah community, fifty people were recruited on 28 July 2013 for a forty-day period of work. One of these people is Khalid Ibrahim Khalid.

Khalid Ibrahim Khalid is a forty-six-year- old Iraqi and father of six. He returned from the Islamic Republic of Iran about one year ago and settled in Khananqin. Originally from Ba’aquba, which has a majority Arab population, Khalid says he cannot return to his former home because he is Kurdish and could become a victim of sectarian violence. After several years in exile in Iran, Khalid returned to Iraq with his family only to find himself still affected by displacement.

There are more than one million displacement affected people in Iraq. Approximately 70% of them are unemployed. Khalid, like other displaced people, is struggling to cope with the harsh reality of sustaining a family in a new environment, without reliable employment. He goes after daily odd jobs and uses the little he earns to provide for his family.

“I was fortunate to be recruited by DRC for this work,” says Khalid. “The wage I am going to earn from this job will pay for my family’s rent and food for the next two months; and before those months elapse, I hope I will find another job like this again,” Khalid says.

Cash for work is one of the emergency activities the DRC uses to give vulnerable people access to temporary employment while finding durable and sustainable ways of improving their livelihoods.