Posted on November 1, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Economy, People
A shoe shiner in Sulaimani city, Iraqi Kurdistan Mar 3, 2016. Photo credit: Rizgar Xoshnaw/Ekurd.net
HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Iraqi Kurdistan’s Minister of Planning said the unemployment rate increased to 12% in the Kurdistan Region as the region is facing an economic crisis.
Minister Ali Sindi told Voice of America that the poverty rate has also increased to 9 percent in the Kurdistan Region as a large influx of refugees and Iraqi displaced people entered the Kurdistan Region.
In September the same minister said that unemployment in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region has hit 14% and is much higher among women and youth. So, It is unclear if unemployment rise or falls
Sindi added the population of the region increased by 30 percent due to flow of the displaced people and refugees who have entered the region following the war in Iraq and Syria.
The expenditure of the displaced people and the refugees, which the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has spent, reached $1.4 billion, Sindi said. International organizations have not provided enough assurance for the displaced people and refugees, who number to more than 1.8 million.
“The reason behind the increase of unemployment and the poverty rate in the Kurdistan Region is the influx number of displaced people, the economic crisis and the Kurdistan Region’s budget, which was cut by Baghdad,” the KRG Ministry of Planning said.
The economic crisis in the Kurdistan Region began after the region went without its share of the federal budget for months as talks between Erbil and Baghdad failed in the first half of 2015.
Erbil attempted to make up for the lack of payments by independently selling oil, however the ongoing war against the Islamic State and the humanitarian crisis have left the KRG unable to pay salaries for its employees, including Peshmerga fighting on the frontlines.