Iraq Plans 3.5 Million New Jobs

Iraq’s current five-year development plan is expected to create 3.5 million new jobs, the Ministry of Planning and Development cooperation said.

In a statement faxed to the newspaper, the ministry said under the 2000-2015 plan 2700 major projects are to be constructed across the country.

“The implementation of the plan is certain to reduce unemployment by offering about 3.5 million new jobs,” the statement said.

It said all the ministries were involved in executing the projects. The plan will not “eradicate” unemployment but will slash it to “manageable levels”, the statement said.

The ministry is working on the next five-year plan, 2015-2020, which “will put an end to joblessness in the country,” the statement said.

Unemployment rates are extremely high in Iraq and are estimated at nearly 50% in some areas.

The ministry urged the bodies executing the current five-year plan projects to go ahead with their plans and spend the allocations earmarked for them.

One major problem facing the authorities working on post-war reconstruction is their inability to spend their annual allocations.

It is not unusual in Iraq for government agencies to return the money allocated for them to the treasury by the end of the fiscal year for not being able to spend it.

These agencies usually cite lack of security and non-availability of contractors to do the job.

( Azzaman )

By Shaymaa Adel

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