IRAQ: USAID to deliver agricultural machinery to farmers in Nineveh Plains town of Karamlesh

KARAMLESH, Iraq — Early next week, the Nineveh Plains town of Karamlesh will receive several agricultural machines from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to support the agricultural sector and farmers in the town.

Young Messengers Organization for Relief and Development signed a contract with USAID on Thursday to support agricultural sectors and farmers and to promote economic recovery in the town of Karamlesh in the Nineveh Plains in norther Iraq.

This project aims to increase agricultural production of farmers in Karamlesh by providing them with equipment. At present, 45 farmers have returned to Karamlesh and resumed agricultural production, but they face significant challenges because the Islamic State, who occupied the region for years, looted and damaged all the areas agricultural equipment. The constant need of farmers to lease equipment undermines their ability to make a living off their ancestral lands.

USAID, in partnership with the Young Messengers for Relief and Development, has decided to provide tractors and other equipment to the towns farmers to help address this problem.

The vehicles to be delivered to the Karamlesh Reconstruction Office next Monday include six tractors, two straw discharge machines with a trailer, and eight fire extinguishers.

At the signing, Imad Sabih, President of the Young Messengers Organization for Relief and Development, said that, “many farmers have suffered losses for years due to poor government support for farmers, but they have continued to work in the agricultural sector.”

“This project will be a starting point for supporting more than 45 farmers in Karamlesh to improve the agricultural situation,” Sabih concluded.

The Syriac-Chaldean village of Karamlesh falls within the Al-Hamdaniya district of Nineveh Governate, of which the Syriac city of Baghdede is the municipal center and includes the Syriac town of Bartella. Karamlesh is still recovering from the impact of the 2014-2017 ISIS occupation. Villagers fled their homes in the summer of 2014 as ISIS invaded. Many of the Syriac-Chaldean villagers have returned to Karamlesh and rebuilt their homes and village.

In April, a new community center was opened to bring back communal life to the village.

To date, some 800 displaced families have returned to Karamlesh,