The hardships Iraqi widows endure on a daily basis is often tragic and devastating. Many are without a job, without the basic essentials for life and many are raising children they must feed and care for in horrendous conditions. The loss of their husbands and loved ones have left many without any opportunities for a better life because of the lack of education or job skills to earn a monthly income.
USAID-Inma Agribusiness Program is committed to making a difference in the lives of these women. Through an agreement with the Al-Rawadi Widows and Orphans Welfare Organization, USAID-Inma is training approximately 100 widows in Baghdad in a number of job skills. These skills are essential for the organization, which packages food items, including a specialty-brand of rice called “Anbar Rice”.
Anbar rice, a specialty product called the ‘Rice of Kings’ for its unique aroma and texture, is grown in Al-Anbar province and packaged in Baghdad. The rice is one of a number of products, including honey, which the USAID-Inma marketing and economic development team has developed to sell in 13 duty free and diplomatic shops around Iraq.
The goal of the program is to promote awareness of Iraq’s agricultural heritage, while creating opportunities for marginalized groups. All of the products are available in the departure lounges of the Baghdad, Basrah, Sulaymaniyah and Erbil international airports. The profits from the sales of the rice and honey go towards further activities and trainings for the women of the organization.
In addition to the packing and labeling trainings, USAID-Inma has been assisting the widows of the Al-Rawasi organization by providing trainings on irrigation, orchard and open field crop production, as well as distributing tools and seeds.
Last updated: June 06, 2012