23 percent of Baghdad residents live in slums, extreme poverty

Observers view these slums as an electoral asset for certain parties and political groups, contributing to their widespread proliferation.
A view of the slum in Baghdad. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
A view of the slum in Baghdad. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – There are many stories of citizens in slum areas, and most of them share one common theme: extreme poverty. Among them are the residents of Baghdad's largest slum, al-Rashid Camp.

A tired resident of the camp, worn out by time and hardship, struggles every day to eke out a living from scraps.

The story of Abu Ali, a resident of this former army camp turned slum, mirrors the experiences of many in this impoverished area since before 2003.

"As you see, the situation is dire. We work only to be able to get some bread. This is our situation. If we can have something other than this place, we will not stay here for even an hour. People are finished and no one is helping us, and you can see the situation," Abu Ali told Kurdistan 24.

Another resident expressed similar sentiments, saying, "They want to deport us and gave us an eviction notice, but we don't know whether it is true or not. We work in the garbage here, all of us are poor, and we do not know where to go."

Observers view these slums as an electoral asset for certain parties and political groups, contributing to their widespread proliferation. Others argue for the necessity of finding solutions in stages, from short-term plans to long-term strategies.

Political analyst Qahtan al-Shuwaili told Kurdistan 24, "They are an electoral asset and political parties actually benefit from them. This is a positive point for the parties. These slums are both a place for the poor to reside in and the cause of the destruction of society."

Journalist Mustafa Latif added, "Today there are citizens who have homes and cars, but they still live in these slums."

According to the latest official statistics, the number of slums in Baghdad alone exceeds 4,679, accounting for 23% of the capital’s population. Successive governments since 2003 have failed to address this growing issue.