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Accessing Social Protection in Iraq: Mapping of Programs and Analysis of Barriers

April 2023 — By Action Against Hunger

Social protection programmes play a key role in addressing poverty, inequality, and vulnerability in societies. In Iraq, a range of social protection initiatives have been implemented to support diverse segments
of the population, including women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and displaced persons. However, despite these efforts, many individuals and households continue to face challenges in accessing and benefiting from these programmes.

This research aims to explore the experiences and perceptions of communities and key informants involved in social protection programmes in Iraq. Through a comprehensive analysis of their insights and perception, the study seeks to identify the key challenges and barriers faced by different population groups in accessing these programmes. The findings of this research will help policymakers and stakeholders to
better understand the issues faced by the intended beneficiaries and inform the development of more effective, inclusive, and accessible social protection interventions.

The research examines various aspects of social protection programmes, including eligibility criteria, outreach efforts, registration processes, the capacity of human resources, and the barriers faced by specific
vulnerable groups. Through a detailed exploration of these dimensions, this study highlights the key areas for improvement and provides recommendations for enhancing the overall effectiveness of social
protection initiatives in Iraq. Some of the central themes emerging from the analysis include the need for increased financial support, improved infrastructure and services, capacity building, and greater collaboration
between government and organisations.

The recommendations provided by participants and key informants emphasise a comprehensive approach to strengthening social protection programmes. By focusing on financial support, capacity building, expanded coverage, and targeted support for vulnerable groups, as well as improvements in government involvement, infrastructure, digital access, and policy measures, this research contributes to the ongoing
efforts to enhance the effectiveness and reach of social protection initiatives in Iraq.