IRAQI NEW GOVERNMENT FACES CHALLENGES IN ADDRESSING POVERTY
Last Updated: 2019-01-17
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BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan 17 (NNN-NINA) - With hundreds of thousands of Iraqi families still stuck in poverty, the new Iraqi government is facing challenges to help the families in need.

Bassim Abdul-Zaman, Iraqi minister of labour and social affairs, said, earlier in the week that, "the ministry is working on expanding the social protection programme, to include some 450,000 destitute families."

"There are six provinces suffering from low living standards and they need further social programmes and plans because in the coming stages, the ministry will have to meet a larger number of destitute families," he said.

"The ministry is dealing with 17 percent of the Iraqi society, who are poor, disabled or jobless," he added.

The government is working on an emergency project, which includes three sub-projects to be implemented in those six provinces.

The emergency project was launched late in 2018, aiming at providing better livelihood opportunities, for the residents and returnees of the liberated areas, to help them reintegrate into the society.

After more than three decades of instability, wars, economic sanctions and the U.S.-led invasion, that led to many social and economic problems, Iraq has been facing a lot of socioeconomic challenges.

Isaam Sabah Ibrahim, a socioeconomic expert, said that, the humanitarian situation in Iraq was badly affected after three years of battles, to free large swathes of territories in northern and western Iraq from the extremist Daesh group.

"The unrest, since 2014, has left 8.7 million people in need and about two million people internally displaced," Ibrahim said, citing latest figures from the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq.

The Iraqi parliament has so far failed to pass the 2019 budget draft because of political differences among the political parties and between Baghdad and the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.-- NNN-NINA