Administrative Divisions

In 2012, Garmian Administration was declared an independent Administration, consisting of three districts affiliated to the Sulaymaniyah Province; namely, Kalar, Kifri, and Khanaqin.


Garmian Administration
Administrative Division:

At present, Garmian Administration consists of three districts: Kalar, Kifri, and Khanaqin, with 10 sub-districts divided as follows: 

Geographical Location

The geographical location of Garmian Administration by district location:
1- Kalar District, located about 140km south of the Sulaymaniyah Province and lies 164km southeast of Kirkuk Province, 180km north of the Capital, Baghdad, and 35km away from the western border of Iran.
2- Kifri District, located about 125km southeast of Kirkuk Province to the north of Diyala Province and adjacent to the internal borders of the Sulaymaniyah Province from the north.
3- Khanaqin District, adjacent to the borders of Iran from the east, the internal borders of Kalar and Darbandikhan from the west, and the internal borders of Halabja District from the north.

In general, Garmian Administration has common borders with Iran from the East, Kirkuk and Salah Al-Din Provinces from the west, Sulaymaniyah Province and Halabja District from the north, and Diyala Province from the south.


By the end of 2014, the total population of Garmian Administration was 267.886 people, half of which at least live in Kalar District.

Table 2 Distribution of Garmian Administration’s Population by District (End of 2014)


In terms of nationality, the majority of the population of Garmian Administration are of Kurdish nationalism, along with Turkmen and Arab minorities.

Area of Garmian Administration
The land area of the territory of Garmian Administration is about (612.453) km2.

Raparin Administration
In 2014, Raprarin was declared an independent administration. The Planning Committee in Sulaymaniyah Province in coordination with the technical directorates provided the data on Raparin Administration

Area and Population:
Raparin Administration has a total area of 2600 km2, with a population of 340.000 people. As of 2014, It contained 412 villages and 106 government departments.

In the area of ‚Äč‚Äčeducation, there are 15 kindergartens, 78 primary schools, 27 junior high schools, 1 special education center, and 4 education centers in Raparin Administration. The number of students in the academic year 2014-2015 amounted to 35.000 students. In addition, there are two public universities in Raparin Administration; namely, Qaladiza and Raparin universities.

Basic Services:
In terms of basic services, nearly 90% of the populated areas are connected by paved roads and more than 90& of homes are linked to public electricity networks.

Economic Activity:
The population of Raparin Administration work mainly in industries, where there are 617 small factories, 40 medium-sized factories, and one large factory.

Due to its historical depth represented by the struggle of the Kurdish people and the mass attacks and massacres witnessed in this District throughout history, Halabja District is considered one of the most important districts of the Sulaymaniyah, and at the level of the Region as well. Currently, the separation of the District from the Sulaymaniyah Province to become a separate Province is under discussion, noting that no official announcement in this regard has been issued till the date of this plan.

Halabja is located at the end of the Sharazur plains and in the southwest of Sulaymaniyah city. It lies at the foothills of the Hawraman, Shnrwe and Balambo mountains and is Just 84 km far from the Sulaymaniyah Province. The establishment of the city dates back to the year 1700 A.D.

About the City and Population:
One of the distinct features of this city is the coexistence of religions in it; where Jews, Kaka’is, and Muslims live together side by side and enjoy the freedom to practice their own religious rituals in the places dedicated for worship.

In Halabja, women enjoy their rights and participate effectively in local development, as they participate in different political, administrative, economic and social life aspects. In 1901, Mrs. Adeelah Khan was the District Mayor and the first mixed school for boys and girls was opened during her term of office. Since the thirties of the last century, the city has witnessed distinct women leaders in the field of community development, such as Mrs. Mullah Toba and Mrs. Hamira Ahmad, who both obtained higher education in legislative sciences and educated women of the city through religious lessons.

Moreover, Halabja is characterized by the presence of vast plains and arable land, in addition to beautiful natural resorts such as Ahmed Awa, Zallim, Gulan, Hawig, etc.

Sharazur plains are stretched over an area of 675km between Halabja and Arbat from the North and south and Soran Mountains from the east and west. These plains are considered fertile and suitable for the cultivation of crops such as wheat, barley, rice, flax, cotton, sunflower and other crops

Halabja Sacrifices throughout History:

- In 1962, the city was bombed by the ruling regime at that time and unarmed civilians, including women and children, were victims of this attack.

- In 1974, the City was bombed with cluster bombs by the ruling Ba’athist regime in Iraq. Many unarmed civilians were also victims of this attack.

- In 1987, around 200 houses in the “Aoki Hagane” residential neighborhood were booby-trapped and blown up by the ruling Ba’athist regime in Iraq.

- During the Iran- Iraq war in 1988, the City was bombed with banned chemical weapons leading to the death of (5000) martyrs immediately after the bombing, in addition to 10.000wounded and nearly 140 children lost, with no clue about their true destiny till date. Also, many houses in the City were booby-trapped and blown up after the entry of the regime forces. It is worth mentioning that this bombing was internationally considered a collective massacre.

- Until August 2015, the city has sacrificed thirty martyrs while fighting against the terrorist organization (ISIS). Nearly 1000 fighters from the City are on the battlefronts against (ISIS) today.


Distribution of Population:

Figure 4 Distribution of Population
41.4% Sulaimaniyah - 10.71% Ranya - 9.18% Kalar - 7.84% Chamchamal - 5.99% Pshdar - 5.02% Halabja - 4.02% Said Sadiq
3.39% Dokan - 3.23% Sharazoor - 2.5% Kifri - 2.13% Penjween - 2.33% Darbandikhan - 0.51% Qaradagh - 0.43% Mawat - 0.98% Sharbazher - 0.70% Khanaqin


Results of Internal & External Environment Analysis and Major Development Challenges:
Following the stage of data collection and drafting the current developments of the Province, the Internal and External Environment Analysis, including the (PESTEL) analysis of political, economic, social, technical, environmental, legislative aspects, was implemented. The most important factors that are


expected to affect the application of the development strategy of the Province are as following:

Main Potentials of the Province (Strengths)

Natural Resources

Natural resources, including water, minerals, oil, agricultural land, forests, natural pastures and livestock are among the positive features of the Province.

The total arable land in the Province is estimated at 3.5 million donums (In Iraq-- donum= 2500 m2).As of 2013 figures, only 1.253.061 donums, i.e. (38%), of land was utilized for agriculture, of which irrigated farming is used for only 472.000 donums.

The Province also comprises a number of historical, archaeological, and religious monuments and natural reserves that could be developed and invested to become a source of income to the economy in the future.

The Province is characterized by political stability and coexistence of its residents. In 2012, only 39 incidents were reported in the Province, which is less than 1% of the total number of incidents in Iraq for the same year.

The Sulaymaniyah city, Chamchamal, and Halabja Districts had the lion share of security incidents by (37%), (23%), and (19%) incidents, respectively, while the districts with the least share of security incidents were Kifri, Ranya, Dokan, with only one incident reported in 2012.


Strategic Location and Topography:

The geographical location of the Sulaymaniyah Province is strategic in terms of the possibility of trade between the Kurdistan Region and the rest of the provinces of Iraq, on the one hand, and between the Region and Iran, on the other hand. This is due to the presence of internal border crossings with the Provinces of Iraq, as well as the border crossing with Iran.

Most of the trade exchange between Iran and the Region through the Sulaymaniyah Province consists of a variety of Iranian imports, including agricultural and food products. So far, no local products have been developed in the Province to reach a degree of exporting competitiveness. Furthermore, the quality control and regulation measures of imports still need to be developed, and this is one of the aspects that can be strategically developed on the long-term.
In addition to its location, the Sulaymaniyah Province is characterized by its moderate climate and diversity of terrain, which makes it a destination for tourism, especially from within at the moment, with future possibility of targeting regional tourism from Arab Gulf states, especially in the summer, as the difference in temperature between the Sulaymaniyah and Erbil province, for example, during this time of the year is estimated between 10-5degrees Celsius.

The Sulaymaniyah Province currently attracts many Arab tourists, mostly Iraqis. There are 236 hotels in the Province, of which 137 are popular cheap hotels. Also, there are (6) five-star hotels and (9) four-star hotels. Most of the hotels lack the world classification, as they adopt a local classification (number of stars for the facility) that is not supported globally. This is one of the important aspects to be developed in the future to diversify local and regional sources of income and create stable and reliable resources on the medium-term (10 years) and long-term (20 years).


Human Resources:

The abundance of young and educated human resources in the Province is one of the most important resources that can be strategically invested to serve the vision of the Province and achieve its strategic goals.

The Annual population growth rate in the Province is estimated at 3%, as the number of population of the Province in 2013 was (2.023.266 people), (562.456) of which were school students.

Household size varies from one area to another, but, in general, the average household size decreased from (6.4 per household) in 1991 to (3.9 per household) in 2013, i.e. nearly three children per household.

In addition, there are six public universities in the Sulaymaniyah Province, including the Sulaymaniyah University, which is the most important, oldest, and largest university in the Kurdistan Region. As for private universities, there are 4 universities, including the American University in Sulaymaniyah.
In 2013, the number of university students in the Province totaled to (28.685) students, of whom (24.472) studying in public universities and (4213) studying in private universities. Also, there are (13.919) students enrolled in the 11 institutes located in the Province.

Sulaymaniyah is the only province in Iraq where female enrollment in study (80.5%) is higher than male enrollment (77.7%).

As for the Internet penetration, Internet users have accounted for 14%of the population, with 90% of them using the Internet at home. 


The Displacedand Refugees:

After the fall of the Ba’athist regime in 2003, the Kurdistan Region has witnessed the influx of displaced persons from other provinces of Iraq for the stability, security, rise in infrastructure and services, and economic growth it enjoys. In 2013 and 2014, as a result of the war in Syria and the terrorist invasion of the so-called (ISIS) organization and the fierce fighting against it, the provinces of the Region as a whole, including the Sulaymaniyah, witnessed the influx of large numbers of refugees and displaced persons.

Until the end of July 2015, the Sulaymaniyah Province recorded more than 57.000 displaced families and 268.000 displaced persons. More than half of them (51%) are within the age group of 18-59 years old. Moreover, most of the displaced came from The Anbar Province, followed by the Diyala, Salah al-Din Provinces. More than half of the displaced currently live in the center of the Province (54%), followed by the districts of Kalar and Chamchamal by 12,5% and 7%, respectively, while the rest are distributed in the various districts of the Province.

More than a third (36.6%) of the displaced have no source of income, while slightly more than a quarter (26.6%) rely on work as a source of livelihood. As for the remaining, they depend either on salaries that they already receive or non-specific sources of livelihood.







As for the refugees,12.134 Syrian families and 30.807 Syrian individuals, mostly from Aleppo (53%) and Al Hasaka (27%), were registered as refugees until the middle of August 2015.

Most of the Syrian refugees, whether in or outside the refugee camps, fall within the age group of 18-59 years old.
In addition to the Syrian refugees, there are 2759Iranian, 71 Palestinian, and 60 Turkish refugees in the Sulaymaniyah.


Main Aspects Requiring Planning & Development as per the Analysis Results (Weaknesses)


Administration of Government Services
The reduction of administrative bureaucracy, improvement of service efficiency, and reinforcement of the control system are among the priority issues to be improved in the next phase. The trend towards e-government and strengthening control system and mechanisms on both institutions and cadres is going to be among the development measures to be taken in the coming period, including the period designed for the Strategic Development Plan 2016-2018.


Strengthening the administration of government services has many dimensions, including: 

- Administrative measures:
At present, no measures are in place for a set of important indicators related to the efficiency and effectiveness of government services, such as the time necessary to provide the service, for example. Furthermore, no schemes for administrative procedures provided by the Province and associated local districts are available to determine the steps necessary for each administrative transaction to be completed by citizens or beneficiaries in general.

- Number and qualifications of available staff:
There is imbalance in the size of government staff distributed in government institutions in the Province, as some institutions suffer from limited resources in certain disciplines, especially those relating to monitoring project implementation, while another large number of institutions is overloaded with employees. Based on estimations by stakeholders and representatives of multiple government departments and agencies in the Province, the surplus of staff ranges between 50-300% depending on the institution.
In terms of qualifications, there is a big disparity in qualifications among government staff.

- Automated government services:
Today, the application of e-government is considered one of the most important improvements that will increase transparency, performance efficiency, and trust between citizens (service recipients) and the government. The Sulaymaniyah aspires to establish and apply the principles of e-government in the Province during the next phase.

- Financial and administrative control and follow-up:
Transparent control and follow-up are the most important elements of governance and good management. At present, there are many areas to improve control and follow up in the Sulaymaniyah, such as linking them to the strategic indicators of the Province and the vision indicators of the Region to enable better monitoring and measuring of quantitative and qualitative achievements. For this purpose, an integrated system for follow up and assessment must be created in the Province through universally-supported systematic mechanisms.

Currently, there is no accurate measurement of the criteria of efficient service delivery, such as the time required to provide each government service, number of documents to be filled out by service recipients, number of staff involved in the service, and the time spent by staff to provide the service. Hence, to improve government services the current situation must be measured first to identify gaps and finally structure and implement the required improvements. These steps fall within the adoption process of e-government methodology.


Optimal Exploitation of Available Natural Resources
At present (2014), only 36% of the arable land is exploited. The productivity of wheat per Donum is inconsiderable compared to other parts of the world. In addition, the use of advanced machinery, and even the traditional tools such as greenhouses, in agriculture is still limited. In terms of other natural resources, there is no integrated study showing the types and quantities of available natural resources in the Province, such as metals and natural riches, and whether it is feasible to be extracted.


Infrastructure, Especially in the Fields of Public Transport and Sanitation

The Sulaymaniyah has made some progress in the field of infrastructure in the past years, as 83.2% of homes have been linked with the public sewerage network and 85.5% with the drinking water network. However, it is necessary to gradually complete the coverage during the years of the plan.

With regard to public transport, it is still at an early stage, with no kind of public transport at the moment in the Province. Public transport is a service that enhances tourism and entails a positive impact on the natural environment and the level of pollution. In the next phase, where the focus is on “Sulaymaniyah, Capital of Culture”, the establishment of a public transport network and provision of necessary modes of public transport is considered a priority. The Sulaymaniyah needs a public transport network to link different areas of the Sulaymaniyah with the city center and related cultural attractions, as well as the other sites of cultural and artistic festivals, as an initial step on the path of a comprehensive transport network to all areas of the Province.


Local Expertise and Competencies and the Use of Technology
The Sulaymaniyah is scoring high levels of education in the Region and has now diverse local academic expertise, but still needs specialized and professional expertise and competencies in the coming phase to support the realization of its vision and development goals. Academically, for example, there are disciplines closely related to culture, archeology, and tourism, but still need to be developed.

On the other hand, there are weak aspects in the curriculum in terms of quality and alignment with modern participatory approaches, which stimulate creativity and analysis and harness technology for the benefit of education, either academic or vocational.

However, vocational education and training is the most needed for development and improvement.


Migration and Displacement
In addition to the numbers of displaced persons and refugees coming in recent years to the Sulaymaniyah as a result of the security situation and war in Syria and the war against the terrorist (ISIS) organization, the Province is suffering also from the phenomenon of internal migration from the countryside to the center of the Province, which has an impact on the deterioration of agriculture and the rise of unemployment rates.

With regard to displacement and migration for security reasons, relevant UN organizations, in cooperation with the provincial and regional governments, are registering the cases and studying their distribution, in addition to offering services to them.

However, the number of internal migrants from the countryside needs more examination and follow-up.


Local Statistical Databases
One of the most important restrictions and difficulties facing the preparation process of this plan is the lack of up-to-date and accurate data on the development indicators at the Province level, in addition to the availability of only fragmented data distributed among a large number of agencies and departments. The Sulaymaniyah Statistical Office participates in the preparation of periodic socio-economic surveys, such as the household and social surveys and other surveys administered by the Kurdistan Regional Statistical Office.

These surveys are based on random samples representing different provinces of the Region and consume a lot of time and effort to the extent that they are announced within a time lag of at least two years between implementation and announcement of results. Moreover, there is a lack of development indicators since no single agency or department measures all the indicators.

This could be eliminated by further cooperation with the Sulaymaniyah Statistical Office to facilitate the planning process, based on facts and figures reflecting the value of the development indicators annually.

In addition, in spite of the availability of a large number of studies made by university students, the studies focus on specific areas and issues that can be useful for being aware of the situation, but cannot be adopted as a basis for planning since they are neither approved by MoPIC-KRG, nor the Sulaymaniyah Statistical Office. There is also a lack of research centers, whether public or private, to conduct development studies and research that can contribute to proper planning.


The Role of Media in National Awareness and Provincial Development
The limited role of media in the Province needs more effort; first to develop the existing competencies in this field, and second to involve them in the overall development process in the Province, especially in the areas of awareness-raising and education on various issues in which the media usually contributes effectively in terms of societal positive change.



Priority Sectors
Together with the supporting infrastructure, qualified and experienced human resources, technology, and investment, the development of culture and promotion of the vision of Sulaymaniyah as the capital of culture are considered a first priority in the next phase. In addition to culture and promotion of domestic and foreign investments in it as a main source of economic income, investment in agriculture, tourism and industry are also considered important in the next phase.


Vision Statement
“Sulaymaniyah, Capital of Culture, where citizens enjoy a stable and attractive environment for pro-development investments, reinforced by distinct entrepreneurial resources that are optimally used according to the principles of social justice”


Mission Statement
The Sulaymaniyah Province seeks to engage all stakeholders and community groups of women, men and youth in the development process of the Province on the basis of good administration to achieve its future vision and maximize development gains to achieve a just and responsible well-being of all segments of society.


Strategic Goals
The strategic development plan of the Sulaymaniyah Province is composed of six strategic goals responsive to the development needs of the Province on the one hand, and the strategic goals of the KRG vision 2020, on the other hand:

Table 3 Strategic Goals