“Rain in scarce in this area. I like to water my farm each day, and check on the water system and the trees,” says 21-year-old Najim on his farm in Mosul, where he grows wheat, onion, sesame and olives trees.
Ensuring his land gets sufficient water is critical for his livelihoods, especially in the summer months when temperatures across Iraq soar.
Najim hopes to cultivate more of his land in the area of Mosul, as part of his plan to develop his business. He is being supported by a financial inclusion initiative being implemented by the ILO under the PROSPECTS Partnership - funded by the Government of the Netherlands.
Through this initiative Najim recently completed a financial education training which aims to enhance the financial knowledge and skills of young people and entrepreneurs to better manage their finances and prepare them to access financial services.
Najim has also been referred to a bank so he can access a loan that will allow him expand his business further, improve his livelihoods and cultivate more land.
The ILO is collaborating with different partners to enhance the functioning of the private sector while addressing the barriers to decent self-employment for host community members and forcibly displaced persons. This includes facilitating their access to affordable loans through financial service providers so they can re-start or grow their businesses, while also improving their financial and business management knowledge.
“I would like to get sprinklers and drip irrigation,” says Najim.
“There is a lot of land here that could be used for farming, but it is not being used. So, I will make use of this and cultivate all of it.”