Anger on social media over Iraq's decision to give 7.5 billion dinars to Palestinian Authority

In the same meeting, the Iraqi Council of Ministers decided to allocate only 500 million dinars to the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displaced
Minister of Communication Arkan Al-Shaibani holding a press conference in Baghdad to brief reporters on the Iraqi Cabinet's meeting, Dec. 21, 2021. (Photo: Iraqi Government Twitter account)
Minister of Communication Arkan Al-Shaibani holding a press conference in Baghdad to brief reporters on the Iraqi Cabinet's meeting, Dec. 21, 2021. (Photo: Iraqi Government Twitter account)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Council of Ministers on Tuesday decided to grant 7.5 billion Iraqi dinars (approximately $5 million) to the Palestinian Authority while only granting 500 million dinars (roughly $340,000) to refugee camps in the Kurdistan Region.

The Iraqi government granted the 7.5 billion dinars from its 2021 emergency reserve budget to the Palestinian Authority to be spent on fuel, humanitarian, health, and other basic requirements. 

The money will be disbursed to the Palestinian Authority through the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

In the same meeting, the Iraqi Council of Ministers decided to allocate only 500 million dinars to the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displaced for the humanitarian needs of refugee and internally displaced person (IDP) camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The move resulted in angry reactions on Iraqi social media, with people criticizing the government for spending the money on non-Iraqi citizens outside the country when Iraqi people need humanitarian support. Iraqis suffer from high rates of poverty and unemployment. 

Meanwhile, the Kurdistan Region's Erbil province is recovering from deadly floods that caused millions of dollars in damage over the weekend. Local officials on Tuesday rejected $1.37 million in emergency disaster relief funds allocated by the Iraqi government, arguing that the amount was far too low. 

Erbil Governor Omid Khoshnaw said that material losses caused by the floods are estimated to be between 20-21 billion dinars (over $13 million). The amount offered by Baghdad is, therefore, woefully insufficient.

"We reject this amount and will not receive it in any form," he said.

Heavy rainfall on Friday resulted in flash floods that killed 12 people, including a 10-month-old baby whose body has not yet been found. 

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