ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The rate of unemployment has increased to 14 percent in 2016, and 84 percent of Kurdistan Region workers have no social insurance, KRG officials said on Wednesday.
In a conference that was hosted in Erbil to address the strategy of combating unemployment and promoting social insurance in the Kurdistan Region, Ali Sindi, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of Planning stated that the Region suffers from two main issues.
“The first one is the rate of unemployment that in 2013 was six percent which was a good rate compared to the regional countries, but now it has reached 14 percent,” Sindi continued.
“The second case is the lack of female employees in the Kurdistan Region,” Sindi said.
He called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the international community to help the Kurdistan Region in passing the financial crisis that has affected the Region since the beginning of 2014.
Moreover, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mohammed Hawdiyani stated in the conference that the KRG has continuously put effort to tackle the crisis in the Region through strategic plans.
He mentioned that only 16 percent of Kurdistan workers have their names in Kurdistan social insurance system while 84 percent remain out of the system.
“The reason could be either the lack of social awareness or the failure of the system,” Labor and Social Affairs Minister added.
He acknowledged that 53 percent of people in the Kurdistan Region are working in the public sector. He stated that they have a plan to strengthen the private sector.
Hawdiyani explained that annually 140,000 persons add to the Kurdistan Region population. “It is a big increase that if the KRG doesn’t follow a concrete and strategic plan, it will result in a big disaster.”
Kurdistan Region has the population of over 5 million people. The Region is home to 1.8 million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) that mostly fled from other parts of Iraq following the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in 2014.
Kurdistan currently suffers from a financial crisis that appeared in the beginning of 2014 after the federal government of Iraq denied the federal budget share of the KRG and accused the Region of independently exporting oil to abroad.
Editing by Ava Homa