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Poverty rate reaches 41.2% in Iraq's liberated areas: WB

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During the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 17, reports have confirmed that there are no signs of change in living conditions in Iraq. The poverty rate, which has risen in an unprecedented manner despite the country's wealth and potential, proves the existence of malicious corruption of the occupation governments.

The World Bank launched its forecasts and estimates for the Iraqi economy during 2018, revealing shocking figures for poverty and general needs.

The WB said in a report that Iraq has a population of 38.5 million people, while the gross domestic product amounts to $197.7 billion. The poverty rate according to the poverty line set at $3.2 per day is 17.9 percent.
The report predicts the acceleration of the growth of the Iraqi economy due to the improvement of the security situation, where it amounted to 4.4 percent in the non-oil sector in 2017, despite the slow reconstruction activities because of the consequences of the war and the decline in oil prices.

 

Iraq's needs for reconstruction were estimated at $88 billion. Inflation recorded a low rate of 0.1 percent in 2017. Moreover, total budget deficit fell to 2.2 percent last year.

The improvement in domestic product helped stabilize the public debt in 2017. The debt ratio stabilized against GDP in 2016, for example, at 64 percent. Foreign exchange reserves began to rise in 2017.

Labor market statistics indicate a further deterioration in the poverty situation, where the rate of participation of youth between 15-24 years has decreased significantly. The unemployment rate has doubled in the provinces affected by violence related to ISIS and displacement.

The poverty rate has increased since 2003 amid widespread corruption and increased unemployment. The World Bank points out that 50 percent of children in the southern provinces suffer from poverty, which contributed to the emergence of large-scale demonstrations in the provinces.

According to WB statistics, the poverty rate reached 41.2 percent in the liberated areas, 30 percent in the southern regions, 23 percent in the center, and 12.5 percent in the Kurdistan region.

Moreover, 48 percent of the population in Iraq is under the age of 18, with 23 percent of them poor. According to the statistics, 5 percent of children are poor in Kurdistan, while poverty prevails at 50 percent of children in the southern provinces.

According to government sources, the number of employees in the public sector and retirees amounts to over five million people who consume half of Iraq's financial budget annually as salaries, which impedes the provision of funds for comprehensive development.

Public debt has increased since 2013, rising from $73.1 billion to $132.6 billion in 2018, while the cash reserve has declined from $77.8 billion in 2013 to $40.8 billion in 2018.

The US-based Sustainable Economic Development Assessment proposed by the Boston Consulting Group published a classification that examines countries' ability to transform their wealth into the well-being of their people; Iraq ranked 118th out of 152.

Last Modified: Friday، 14 December 2018 02:58 AM
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