Italian weekly magazine highlights AVSI's project in Qaraqosh “A virtuous production cycle to relaunch a city and its economic fabric for IDPs and returnees to the Ninevah Plains, Iraq”, funded by PRM
by Angiola Codacci-Pisanelli for l'Espresso.
Photos by Giuseppe Fanizza
July 19, 2019 _ Peace is built step by step, one chick at a time, one calf after another. Peace is returning to Iraq, despite difficulties, even to Iraq's Nineveh Plains, a territory controlled by ISIS from 2014 to 2016. These were years of violence, fire and destruction. Of the 50,000 inhabitants of Qaraqosh, the region’s capital, at least half fled after the arrival of the Islamic group. Many have not yet returned and probably will never come back.
However, for those who have returned, life is slowly going back to normal.
"One woman we managed to involve in our project to re-open the farms, has her life slowly returning to normal" says Daniele Mazzone, AVSI’s Deputy Country Director in Iraq. “She had lost everything, all the men in her family died. We gave her ten calves and taught her how to raise them. She was able to reopen her family’s farm, and is now the one in charge”.
Freeing the Ninevah Plains from ISIS was the first step towards peace, but alone it is not enough. Reconstruction goes hand in hand with the return of the community, thanks to projects implemented by NGOs like AVSI and made possible by governments and private donors. AVSI projects in Iraq are funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), UNICEF, and Aics (the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development).