24 June 2017
Iraqi government sources said that a ministerial committee is working to launch a national strategy to alleviate poverty in the country, in an attempt to contain the rising proportion of Iraqis under the poverty line, who exceeded their proportion in the areas of government control 31% and in areas of control calls more than 48%.
A senior official in the Ministry of Finance told the “New Arab” that the plan is to be completed within two months from now, to be implemented early next year 2018, noting that it depends on several mechanisms for the purpose of success, which will continue until 2022.
According to the information, six international bodies, including a bank, financial institutions and various governments are working to help Iraq to complete the plan, which is the first of its kind, targeting about 7 million Iraqis.
The plan will be based on granting soft loans to small and medium-sized enterprises, granting agricultural loans to land owners, on the condition of reclamation and cultivation, granting housing loans, opening at least 400 factories and a state-owned factory to attract labor and obligating foreign and local investors to be The number of Iraqis working in their projects is not less than 70%, in addition to the adoption of projects for women in the home for widows and divorcees.
Mohammed al-Moussawi, a member of the Iraqi parliament, said in an interview with “The New Arab” that “a specialized committee is continuing to prepare all the details of the plan before it was announced and aimed at alleviating poverty and not eliminating it. The plan is financial, and is likely to be officially announced by the end of September by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi.
A report by the Iraqi Ministry of Planning showed a significant increase in poverty and unemployment in the country, reaching 48% control areas and government control areas 31% while in the Kurdistan region of Iraq 21%.
The provinces of Anbar, Salah al-Din, Diyala, Mosul, Kirkuk and Baghdad topped the list of the poorest provinces, followed by Muthanna, Babil and Dhi Qar.
Experts attribute the rise of poverty in Iraq to an invasion of the country, the decline in oil prices globally, and the spread of corruption in the joints of state institutions.
“The poverty rate before 2014 was between 13 and 15 percent, but after the emergence of the boom and the waves of displacement, the economic crisis and the permanent decline in oil prices, the rise in the price of oil rose,” Abdul Zahra al-Hindawi, a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Planning, said earlier in June. The proportion of poverty to double, and even jumped over 30% and is increasing day by day. ” Members of parliament and civil activists are seeking to draft new laws that will reduce poverty.
Gamal al-Wakil, a member of the Iraqi Human Rights Committee for the “New Arab” said that the current effort is to oblige the government with a number of laws through which to stop the escalation of poverty first and then mitigate it.
“The current social imbalance must be fixed. Iraq has two very first layers, the second is very poor, there is no middle class, and all because of financial and administrative corruption,” he said.
In December 2015, the Iraqi Ministry of Planning announced that it had launched a strategy to alleviate poverty in a country where more than a third of the population lives on less than $ 2 a day.