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Location: SULAYMANIYAH Total Visits: 30990

Located in the north east of Iraq on the border with Iran, Sulaymaniyah combines with Erbil and Dahuk governorates to form the area administrated by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Sulaymaniyah contains the third largest share of the population, which is one of the most urbanized in Iraq. The landscape becomes increasingly mountainous towards the eastern border with Iran.


Unemployment is relatively low in the governorate at 12%. However, the relatively high unemployment (27%) among women, the low proportion of women employed in wage jobs outside agriculture, allied to the relatively low percentage of jobs for women in the public sector implies that women face barriers to employment in non-agricultural sectors.


Few of Sulaymaniyah’s residents (3%) are among Iraq’s poorest, but the governorate performs badly according to many other developmental and humanitarian indicators. Education levels are generally below average: illiteracy rates among women are approaching 50% in all districts apart from Sulaymaniyah and Halabja, and are above 25% for men in Penjwin, Pshdar, Kifri and Chamchamal. 14% of Kifri and Chamchamal’s residents suffer from a chronic disease. There are also widespread infrastructural problems, with all districts suffering from prolonged power cuts, and Penjwin and Sharbazher experiencing poor access to the water network. The Provincial Government has complained of an inability to deal with these issues effectively due to the lack of clarity and systematic planning and lack of guidance from the central government, which have inhibited budget execution.


IDPs that fled to Sulaymaniyah during the wave of violence in 2006 and 2007 experience better standards of living than IDPs in most other governorates. 89% live in rented accommodation with similar access to electricity and water as the local population. However, 79% never receive the PDS, and 30% of IDP families still have no source of income from employment. 82% of IDP families cited food as a priority need.


Governorate Capital: Sulaymaniyah
Area: 17,023sq km (3.9% of Iraq)
Population: 1893617 (6% of total)
  Source: GoI COSIT (est. for 2007)

Gender Distribution: Male: 50% Female: 50%
Ge Distribution: Rural: 30% Urban: 70%
  Source: GoI COSIT (est. for 2007)

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

Restoring Halabja From Ashes

This report summarizes the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) project to construct and equip aspecialized maternal and child care hospital with all staff housing and training facilities in Halabja.


UNDP, Apr 2010
Download: English, 1.09MB

Sulaymaniyah Factbook

An overview of the funds and projects completed in Sulaymaniyah.


US Government, May 2005
Download: English, 0.45MB

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