Bureau régional de la FAO pour le Proche-Orient et l’Afrique du Nord

FAO’s ‘Better Life’ in action

April 2022, Ninewa, Iraq – The new FAO Strategic Framework is designed around ‘four betters’: Better Production, Better Nutrition, Better Environment and Better Life. Following the announcement of these ‘four betters’ by the FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, FAO communities around the globe have launched their strives in meeting the expectations set by the Director-General as well as the aspirations of communities they serve in. FAO Iraq interventions and efforts are also aligned to lead to better production, nutrition, environment and life by meeting the needs of affected population in the post-conflict areas of the country.

In the liberated areas of Ninewa governorate of Iraq, in addition to sufferings experienced in terms of the loss of lives and assets among other aspects of life, people are now challenged to re-establish their lives and livelihoods. This situation is especially difficult for local women as most of them now bear the responsibility of their households’ heads and breadwinners. However, when the EU, FAO, MOA and local government come together as partners and work hand in hand, one should expect a new chapter to be written in the progress of the life of thousands of women there.

One of such joint initiatives that resulted not only in ‘Better Production’ but also ‘Better Life’ is developing Dairy Value Chain in Ninewa of Iraq as one of the major livelihood and income sources targeting mainly women groups and youth.  The below quotes from few of those women beneficiaries tell the story.

Huda Khalid from Hamdania

After Huda’s father was kidnapped by ISIL, her mother fled to the States and she was supposed to follow her mother. In regards to FAO’s project and its affect on her life, she said:

Our life is better now here; the support we received from FAO made a huge impact on our dairy production. When I show pictures to my mother, she starts thinking of returning home!”

Intisar from Hamdania

“Now I have more time to take care of my son Joseph. FAO trained and gave me new equipment that I am using for the first time, which improved my small farm production and saves time as well.”

Khaled from Bartella

“I am now marketing my products in Baghdad and I even received requests to export. As life changed to the better and it is different now, I am working on a new business plan. Our new collective center equipped by FAO enabled us to produce new cheese brands.”

Rawaa from Hamdania

“We lost everything during the war, now after receiving training and new equipments for producing and marketing, we thought that we are dreaming. Our lives have changed as our income quite improved.”

Basima from Baashiqa

“We are producing more milk and cheese, thus earning more. Our feeding practices have been widely improved because of FAO. Our family now has new opportunities and plans.”


As the project is underway, the next support package to these rural and peri-urban women arrived to Ninewa of Iraq amid the Month of Ramadan and Easter. This EU, FAO and MOA support gesture introduced real hope and happiness to thousands of households in the liberated areas of Ninewa.