World Bank says poverty situation in Iraq has worsened

The unemployment rate is twice as higher in provinces most affected by the Islamic State war and displacement, the World Bank said.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The World Bank has reported a decrease of the poverty situation in Iraq but said it expects an improvement in the country’s GDP growth in 2018.

In a statement released on Monday, the World Bank said Iraq’s growth outlook is expected to improve as the country brings in investors for the post-Islamic State (IS) reconstruction and provide a secure environment for them.

“Iraq’s growth outlook is expected to improve thanks to a more favorable security environment and the gradual pickup of investment for reconstruction,” it read.

The World Bank said that despite the extension of the OPEC agreement until the end of 2018, the overall GDP growth in Iraq was projected to return to a positive 2.5 percent in 2018, and further increase in 2019 upon the end of the deal.

The statement noted that the poverty rate was 22.5 percent in 2014 which was nearly a four percent increase compared to 2012.

“Recent labor market statistics suggest further deterioration of the poverty situation,” the statement read.

According to the World Bank, the unemployment rate is doubled in provinces most affected by the IS war and displacement (21.1 percent) in comparison to the rest of the governorates (11.2 percent).

The statement noted that unemployment increased, especially for individuals from the poorest households, youth, and those in the prime working age, between 25 to 49-years-old.

“Labor force participation rate of youth (ages 15-24) has dropped markedly since the onset of the crisis in 2014, from 32.5 percent to 27.4 percent,” the World Bank revealed.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany