Iraq reached a historic milestone with the completion and launch of the Social Safety Net (SSN) system. The cash transfer system is the first of its kind in Iraq.

The impact was immediate, as the system instantly found 57,000 ineligible beneficiaries. The Iraqi government saved $28 million from finding these errors and put the money to use for those truly in need.

The system will distribute more than $500 million per year to more than one million citizens, including the most vulnerable such as orphans, widows and the disabled.

The Social Safety Net’s design and launch took more than five years of continuous work under our America's operation, MSI, USAID-funded Tatweer and Tarabot projects. The system was rolled out over 18 sites across Iraq’s 15 provinces, with more sites in Kurdistan in the process of being connected to the national system. Shortly, the network will expand to include an additional one million vulnerable Iraqis.

Under the Tatweer Program, we assisted in the design of the system, training SSN managers in the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. We helped to deploy and install nationwide the SSN’s complex network of hardware.

We also assisted the Ministry in bringing the system online, providing technical assistance and troubleshooting, as well as training provincial SSN staff on the system’s usage. Tarabot staff also drafted a three-year capacity building plan in line with the World Bank’s recommendations for the SSN.

On December 17th, the U.S. Embassy in Iraq issued a press release to recognise this significant development.

This appeared on MSI's website, our America's operation.