Qadissiya is located in southern central Iraq on Muthanna’s northern border. The Shamiya River (a major branch of the Euphrates) runs through Hamza district in the south western corner of the governorate. The ruined city of Nipur, once the religious capital of the Sumerian civilization of the 4th millennium BC, is the most famous of the governorate’s numerous ancient sites. The Battle of Qadissiya in the 16th year of the Hijra (636 AD) witnessed a major victory for Caliph Omar over the Persian Sassanids, bringing Islam to all of the area now covered by Iraq and Iran. Following outbreaks of violence in the governorate between 2006 and 2008, the security situation is now calm.
Agriculture is a key component of Qadissiya’s economy, contributing 47% of its gross domestic product, and providing 35% of jobs. Rice, wheat and barley are the main crops, while hibiscus and melon are also cultivated. 46% of the jobs in the governorate are unwaged, and of these over half are in agriculture.
Qadissiya, like neighbouring Muthanna, performs poorly according to many humanitarian and developmental indicators. Primary school enrolment rates among girls aged 6-11 are lower than average in urban (82%) and rural (59%) areas. Primary school enrolment is also low among rural boys at 77%. Youth illiteracy is high at 26%. The electricity supply from the main network is poor in all districts apart from Afaq. The poor electricity supply, poor infrastructure and low water quality are affecting access to safe water. 24% of households reported irregular availability of drinking water, rising to 66% in Afaq. Sanitation is also very poor in Afaq and Hamza.
Qadissiya’s IDPs suffer problems with shelter and lack of employment opportunities. 97% of IDP families have no member in employment and 91% cite shelter as a priority need, while two thirds (69%) are in need of food. 19% of IDP families are female-headed, rising to 40% in Afaq. In spite of problems with jobs, food and infrastructure, 41% of Qadissiya’s IDP population wish to settle in their current location.