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Poverty rates exceed 45% in Iraq

Iraqi civilians arrive at Maktab Khalid region near Kirkuk, Iraq on December 07, 2016 to take shelter near peshmerga forces [Ali Mukarrem Garip /Anadolu Agency]
Iraqis arrive at Maktab Khalid region near Kirkuk, Iraq on December 07, 2016 to take shelter near peshmerga forces [Ali Mukarrem Garip /Anadolu Agency]

Poverty rates in the provinces restored by the Iraqi Army have increased to over 45 per cent, with expected plans of reconstruction, development and investment estimated at tens of billions of dollars.

The member of the National Central Committee for Poverty Reduction, MP Noura Salem Al-Bajari, estimated the cost of reconstruction of these provinces at more than $30 billion.

According to Al-Hayat newspaper, the statistics that were prepared by the Ministry of Planning in cooperation with international organisations showed increasing rates of poverty in the provinces of Saladin, Diyala, Nineveh, Anbar and Kirkuk, ranging between 20 to 45 per cent over the past two years.

The newspaper pointed out that these statistics do not include those displaced or those who migrated out of Iraq. Al-Bajari said that the statistics included victims of terrorism and wars, about 18,802, and that the number of casualties was 36,245. She added that the number of abducted women exceeded 4,000.

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Financial losses amounted to about $30 billion, which caused additional problems, such as unemployment, illiteracy, disease and social problems.

She considered that the value of international assistance to the relief of the inhabitants and the rehabilitation of these areas is significant, but it remains far lower than what is required to find solutions.

Concerning the reconstruction plan, Al-Bajari said that the National Committee has prepared a plan for the years 2018-2022 and a preliminary budget of $100 billion, which will be implemented by the government in coordination with international organizations, institutions and agencies.

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