Unemployment, underemployment, and the absence of middle class economic opportunity combine to threaten Iraqi security and stability. In a country with a very high population of young and educated but unemployed people and extremely limited representation of women in the labor force, marginalized populations—especially those who are internally displaced—face enormous challenges in achieving economic security. To address these concerns, USAID/Iraq and FHI 360 have worked together to design Foras, a forward-looking, demand-driven program that offers a comprehensive approach to address the unemployment problem in Iraq, especially for these priority populations. The project endeavors to serve the needs of both Iraqi employers and job seekers by strengthening intermediary actors, such as job placement and training agencies, and giving job seekers an easily-accessible venue to search for open positions. At the same time, Foras will help broaden the future of Iraq’s private sector by supporting entrepreneurs, both emerging and established, with business training and strategic advice.
To better connect with Job seekers and employers, Foras partnered with to create a web-based employment portal. The online portal, which features content tailored to the Iraqi market, offers job seekers, recruitment agencies, and private sector companies the ability to more efficiently meet their employment needs. The portal also provides free access to training courses ranging from tips to interviewing and writing CVs to fully certified specialty continuing education courses. Since the portal's launch in 2013, more than 8,900 of the 39,000+ registered jobseekers have found employment with Iraqi and international companies.