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Location: ERBIL Total Visits: 30989

Located in the north of Iraq, Erbil borders Turkey to the north and Iran to the east. Erbil combines with Dahuk and Sulaymaniyah to form the area administrated by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The city of Erbil is the capital of both Erbil governorate and the KRG. The administrative status of Makhmur district, which borders on Ninewa, has yet to be officially determined. The security situation remains generally calm. UNESCO has financed a project to renovate and revitalise the Citadel in Erbil city, one of the world’s oldest inhabited settlements, aged between 3000 and 6000 y.o.


The provincial government views agriculture as a key means of generating employment and alleviating food insecurity in the governorate. However, lack of investment and modern farming methods have hindered production.


Although few of Erbil’s residents are among Iraq’s poorest, the governorate performs relatively poorly according to humanitarian and developmental indicators. 26% of children aged 0-5 years in Makhmur suffer from acute malnutrition, and a further 15% are suffering from chronic malnutrition. A quarter of Erbil’s population aged 10 years and over are illiterate, with women (36%) suffering more than men (15%). Juman, Khabat and Merkeh Soor districts experience the highest illiteracy rates.


Infrastructure is poor across the governorate. The vast majority of households in all districts except Koisnjaq suffer from prolonged power cuts. One in five of Erbil’s households has no sanitation or uses a hole in order to dispose human waste. This problem is particularly acute in Merkeh Soor, Shaqlawa, Soran, Choman and Khabat, where this figure rises to between 32% and 59% of households. Most households in Shaqlawa, Juman and Merkeh Soor are not connected to the water network.


Erbil hosts a considerable number of IDPs, almost all of whom come from Baghdad and Ninewa. 89% of Erbil’s IDPs live in Erbil district. Over half (58%) of IDPs in the governorate are unable to access the Public Distribution System. Almost all the governorate’s IDPs live in rented accommodation, but the quality of the housing is often very poor. Food and shelter are the two major priority needs for IDP families in the governorate. However, 68% of IDP families have a family member in employment, far higher than the national average of 33%.


Governorate Capital: Erbil
Area: 15,074sq km (3.5% of Iraq)
Population: 1,542,421 (5% of total)
  Source: GoI COSIT (est. for 2007)

Gender Distribution: Male: 50% Female: 50%
Geo Distribution: Rural: 24% Urban: 76%
  Source: GoI COSIT (est. for 2007)

Population by district:
  Source: WFP VAM (2007)
Reports & Assessments

Erbil Factbook

An overview of the funds and projects completed in Erbil


US Government, May 2005
Download: English, 0.46MB

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