Posted on August 8, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Economy, People
Foreign workers in Iraq. Photo: aletejahtv.org
HEWLÊR-Erbil, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— Strict measures have been implemented to decrease the number of foreign workers entering Iraq’s Kurdistan Region and increase job opportunities for locals, said a Kurdish official on Saturday.
Kurdistan is suffering from a critical financial crisis due to the drop in oil prices internationally and the Region’s budget share cut from the federal government of Iraq.
Additionally, the Islamic State (IS) war and housing 1.8 million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) had contributed to the crisis.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mohamad Qadir Hawdiyani told Kurdistan24 that the number of foreign workers in the Region had decreased by 80 percent in 2016.
“So far, in 2016, 2,143 foreign workers had entered the Kurdistan Region,” Hawdiyani said. “704 of them were workers involved in construction projects.”
He mentioned that the rest were servicewomen who mostly worked inside homes.
Following the financial crisis, companies that specialized in importing foreign workers to Kurdistan made some changes for their clients by decreasing the price of services.
Moreover, Sharmin Fayli, the director of one of the companies responsible for importing workers, told Kurdistan24 that they had introduced loan options for their customers.
Fayli also noted that they had decreased the price of their services by 20 percent due to the financial crisis in the Region.
In the last few years, poverty and unemployment have increased in Kurdistan. The rate of poverty was three percent in 2013.
However, according to the Statistics Director in Sulaimani Province, Mahmoud Osman, the number rose to 10 percent in 2014.
According to the 2015 Iraqi Ministry of Planning statistics, 20 percent of Iraqis lived under the poverty line, a significant increase since 2013.
Regarding unemployment, seven percent of the Kurdistan Region’s population was on the poverty line in 2013, but the rate rose to 25 percent in 2015, Osman said.
Unofficial sources claim that the poverty and unemployment rate in 2016 had increased in Kurdistan as the financial crisis and IS war continues.