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EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis

"After I started working at the shop, I interacted with people again. I have a normal life. Now, my children are happy when I come home. My life has changed, it has improved with this shop."

In 2015, former member of the Kurdish forces (the Peshmergas) Mamand Ahmed was injured while fighting ISIS in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. As a result, he became disabled and could not work for long periods at a time.

Mamand confesses: “Ever since, I stayed home, bored. This has caused me severe psychological problems. I was ruminating a lot. The days were endless, as I had nothing to do.”

The day Mamand’s life changed for the better was the day he opened a grocery shop with supplies, thanks to a grant he received from the EUTF funded QUDRA project.

Not only did the shop uplift Mamand’s morale, it enabled him to provide for his family again.

He explains: “Now, despite the pain, I work at the shop every day. It helps relieve some of my pain. When I come back home, I sleep two more hours than I previously did.”

Even if things have turned out fine for Mamand, he derives courage and determination from his own journey to advocate for the rights of many fellow Peshmergas, who have lost the ability to provide for their families because of the war and subsequent injuries.

“I, myself, have had support. But there are dozens and thousands of cases like mine. These people also deserve assistance,” he says with strength.

In Iraq alone, the EUTF funded QUDRA project helps 50,000 people, like Mamand, become more resilient and secure a better future. Overall, this project is helping nearly 600,000 Syrians and local communities in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to become more resilient and part of a cohesive society.