Posted on September 13, 2021
Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge (WE4F) MENA launches a unique new support program for Iraqi innovators promoting local, sustainable, and scalable solutions for challenges in the water, energy, and agriculture sectors.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is proud to announce the launch of the WE4F Iraqi Call for Innovations, to foster innovation and enhance food security in Iraq. The $1.5 million program, implemented by the WE4F Middle East and North Africa Regional Innovation Hub (MENA RIH), will support Iraq-based companies working on providing more sustainable water or energy solutions for agriculture. The selected companies will receive customized support in the form of grants, technical assistance, and investment facilitation to grow their businesses, combat resource scarcity, and foster the transition to a green economy.
USAID Mission Director in Iraq John Cardenas emphasized the mission’s role in advancing green innovations through programs like WE4F: “USAID proudly supports the Iraqi private sector’s transition to a green economy, which will help create new job opportunities and build a more sustainable and prosperous future for Iraqi citizens.”
Water scarcity, environmental degradation, inefficient food production methods, unemployment, and protracted conflict all threaten Iraq’s long-term prosperity and stability. Tackling issues related to water, energy, and food is imperative to overcoming these barriers and achieving greater stability. Together with investors and other partners, the MENA RIH works with companies to grow more food while using less water and more sustainable energy sources.
In addition to funding local companies, the MENA RIH program helps them grow by providing technical assistance and facilitating investment options; supporting expanded investment through grants, soft loans, and other tailored financial instruments; and the joint creation of a supportive, business-enabling environment. The first Iraqi Call for Innovations will accept submissions between September 8 to September 29, 2021, with all information including eligibility criteria and application guidelines available here.
WE4F is a joint international initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Union, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands, Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). To learn more, visit we4f.org and follow WE4F on Twitter @WE4FGCD.
The WE4F Middle East and North Africa Regional Innovation Hub (a consortium of Berytech, cewas, Chemonics Egypt and the International Water Management Institute) supports innovators in ten countries across the region to produce more food while using less water and energy. Together with investors and partners, the MENA RIH works to scale mid-to-later stage enterprises that have an environmental and social impact in the water-energy-food nexus.