An Iraqi economist blamed the high unemployment rate in the country on the government’s failure to develop the industries and reduce food imports, according to a report from AKnews.
“The Iraqi government has failed significantly to rescue Iraq from being the main country in the region in terms of consumption of imported foods. There is no plan that promotes industries in the country," said Abdul Hadi Salman.
Estimates of the unemployment rate in Iraq vary -- Iraqi government ministries put the rate in the range from 30 to 48 percent.
Salman said a large portion of Iraq's unemployment problem would be solved if industries were created.
"The next government has a mission to promote industrial development and help Iraq recover from the large imports which have damaged the country's financial position over the past years.
According to the United Nations, food prices in Iraq have doubled between 2004 and 2008. In 2008, the food import dependency ratio for Iraq was estimated to be at 76 percent, with the remainder covered by locally-produced foods.