CBI, ILO celebrate success of Financial Inclusion Initiative for MSMEs


The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) celebrated significant milestones in their project in Baghdad.

According to a statement released by the ILO, the project has provided nearly 200 loans to aspiring business owners. This has significantly contributed to creating and sustaining around 1,200 employment opportunities in the governorates of Duhok and Nineveh.

As part of the initiative, the ILO provided business and financial training to 3,000 young entrepreneurs and small-medium project owners.

The project aims to benefit individuals belonging to the host community, as well as those who have returned to their homes, and individuals who have been displaced.

Leading figures in the development and financing of Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) attended the event. The event was sponsored by the CBI Governor and featured senior representatives from the Dutch Embassy.

The Deputy Governor of the CBI, Ammar Khalaf, explained that small enterprises face two main problems: the first is accessing the official financial or banking sector; the second is related to guarantees.

Khalaf stated that the partnership between our organizations aims to not only provide young people with the necessary skills to understand the complexities of starting a new business, but also to ensure that they have access to financing with sufficient guarantees. Our goal is to expand our efforts beyond Duhok and Nineveh, and promote greater economic empowerment and growth in other areas.

Iraq’s unemployment rate was 16.5% in 2021, with women’s rate at 28.2% compared to 10.7% for men.

The rate of unemployment for young people was 35.8%, more than three times higher than the rate for adults.