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Increasing stability and social cohesion in Iraq


Iraq continues to face layered crises that pose significant threats to its stability and U.S. interests, including: implications of the October 2021 parliamentary election, ongoing post-ISIS recovery needs, the need to reintegrate internally displaced persons (IDPs), widespread anti-government sentiment, divisive ethno-sectarian rhetoric, and lack of national unity. OTI helps communities work toward a more pluralistic and cohesive country capable of addressing threats to Iraq’s recovery and stability.


The OTI Iraq program partners with civil society organizations, faith-based groups, and local government entities to increase stability through interventions in the Ninewa Plain, Mosul, Sinjar, western Anbar, and Dhi Qar. To achieve this goal, OTI works toward three mutually reinforcing objectives:

  • Increase perceptions of equity and inclusion in strategic, marginalized communities; 

  • Reduce polarization and division in Iraqi society; and

  • Mitigate discrete, emergent challenges that threaten overall stability.


  • OTI creates opportunities for civic engagement to increase positive cultural discourse among Iraqis. OTI restored Mutanabi Street, a key cultural  street in Baghdad, by providing five bookshops, a cultural center, and a historic teahouse, with furniture, equipment, and minor rehabilitation. 

  • OTI supports Iraqi media and content creators to challenge disinformation and rhetoric that drives sectarianism and growing polarization between Iraq’s diverse ethnic and religious groups. By providing fact-based alternative narratives about national unity, local reforms, and positive change, OTI encourages civic discussion and local engagement to build confidence in Iraq’s future.

  • OTI ensures that students are able to return to school—a priority in communities liberated from ISIS. OTI has equipped nearly 150 schools, procured more than 30,000 school kits, and provided backpacks and uniforms to approximately 20,000 primary school students in Mosul, Sinjar, and the Ninewa Plain.

  • OTI helped improve public safety and livelihoods by installing 8,245 street lights in 12 towns in the Ninewa Plain, Mosul, Sinjar, and western Anbar. As a result, businesses were able to stay open later and families—including women and children—felt safe enough to leave their homes at night.   

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: July 19, 2022

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