EPIC Summer 2023 Highlights & Upcoming Initiatives

An upstream view of the Tigris river from Baghdad’s rebuilt Shuhada (Martyrs’) Bridge © EPIC/March 2023

We are thrilled to share with you the latest updates on EPIC’s ongoing mission to advance peace and development in Iraq. As we approach our 25th anniversary, our commitment to the cause remains unwavering, and we are excited to showcase the impactful strides we’ve taken over this past summer.

Unveiling Insights into Iraq’s Water Diplomacy
Challenges and Solutions

In July, we unveiled our newest publication, “Water Diplomacy in the Land of Two Rivers.” The product of months of intensive research and insightful interviews with top experts in the field, this timely report examines the pressing issues surrounding Iraq’s quest to secure its rightful share of water from shared rivers, with particular emphasis on the Tigris and Euphrates.

We delve deep into Iraq’s intricate relationships with its riparian neighbors — Türkiye, Iran, and Syria — and how ongoing water disputes are unfolding amidst climate change. Within the framework of international law on shared watercourses, the report explores the various paths that Iraq has either pursued or overlooked in its efforts to safeguard its water rights. We conclude with recommendations on how Iraq can leverage its influence, and potential, as a trade partner, energy producer, and key ally to reach more equitable water-sharing agreements with its upstream neighbors.

Devised Strategies to Resolve the Impasse over Oil
between Baghdad, Erbil and Ankara

With the region’s energy and security challenges increasingly intertwined with Iraq’s water needs, policy making and diplomacy must take a holistic look at all three. In August, we shifted our focus to the deadlock between Iraq and Türkiye over resuming Iraqi oil exports through Türkiye’s ports. With exports halted since March, the impasse has created more than $5 billion in economic losses, particularly destabilizing for the Kurdistan region.

Our analysis, published by the Middle East Institute, looks at the state of recent diplomacy between Iraq and Türkiye and offers feasible solutions to unlock this trapped economic potential.

Read our analysis: Can oil and water mix?: Creating opportunities for Iraq-Turkey cooperation

Activists from Ninewa meet to plan an advocacy campaign to address issues in their community. © EPIC, Erbil/June 2023

Empowering Diversity and Democratic Participation in the Ninewa Plain and Sinjar

This year, we continued our work with young leaders in the Ninewa/Mosul region. Through EPIC’s field office in Erbil, EPIC is providing trainings on how to develop policy recommendations, raise public awareness, and carry out direct advocacy.

We are currently working with 10 remarkable activists who are working hard to address a range of local issues selected by their communities, including chronic shortages of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment at Sinjar’s Sununi General Hospital, the spread of illegal dumping in al-Hamdaniyah District, the absence of evening schools in Ninewa’s Nimrud subdistrict, the lack of crosswalks and other public safety measures at Bartella Elementary School, and discriminatory hiring practices at the Sharya IDP camp that excludes camp residents, including qualified teachers and other professionals.

EPIC Confab in Baghdad with valued colleagues of the Iraq Health Access Organization (IHAO). Left to right: IHAO Finance Officer Teba Mizher, IHAO Project Manager Abbas Nazar, EPIC Director Erik Gustafson, and IHAO Head of Programs Dr. Hayder Ali. © IHAO, Baghdad/March 20, 2023

EPIC Awarded Grant to Support Vocational Education Reforms to Tackle Youth Unemployment

We are excited to share the news about new work that we will undertake alongside our long-time partner in Iraq, the Iraq Health Access Organization (IHAO).

Through a new award provided by the Lithuanian Development Corporation, we will contribute research on vocational education gaps in Iraq. This research will guide improvements in infrastructure and curriculum development at two select vocational schools, empowering local youth with skills for their district’s job market.

We are calling the project “Generation: NEXT” and we look forward to sharing updates on our research with you soon.

One of EPIC’s Team photo from over the years participating in the Iraqi Children Foundation’s “IN THEIR SHOES” 5K. © EPIC/Washington DC, 2017

Join Us in Supporting this year’s Iraqi Children Foundation’s “IN THEIR SHOES” 5K

Every year since 2013, EPIC has fielded a team in support of the Iraqi Children Foundation‘s annual “IN THEIR SHOES 5K”, and every year we have a blast!

The Iraqi Children Foundation are true kindred spirits, driven to make a real difference in the lives of children. Through “Baghdad Street Lawyers”, “Hope Buses”, and other innovative programs, they are helping to restore hope for Iraq’s most vulnerable children. Join us:

Oct. 15, 2023 at Hains Point, Washington DC for
Iraqi Children Foundation‘s 11th Annual “IN THEIR SHOES” 5K benefiting
Iraq’s most vulnerable children 

This year, EPIC is building a team with Iraqi American Young Professionals (IAYP) and we need your help to make this year’s run the largest turnout ever! Join Team EPIC-IAYP to run/walk with us in Washington DC or join our team “virtually” from anywhere in the world!


None of our work would be possible without the generous support of donors like you. Thank you for being a part of our 25-year-long mission of advancing peace and development in Iraq.

To help further our charitable mission, visit our dedicated donation page via enablingpeace.org/donate.

Thank you so much!
Shukran jazeelan!
Zor zor supas!

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