Iraq to Cut Poverty From 23% to 16% by 2014

Iraqi authorities aim to decrease the percentage of poverty in the country from 23% to 16% by the year 2014, according to the Planning Ministry's Central Statistics Body on Tuesday.

"The strategy to decrease poverty will be activated this year," the Central Statistics Body's official spokesman told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

He said that "the plans and programs for this strategy shall be implemented according to their time schedules, laid down for the forthcoming years ending by 2014," adding that "each of those years shall have a certain percentage for the accomplishment of the plan, in order to decrease the percentage of poverty in Iraq from 23% to 16% by the year 2014."

According to the Joint Cooperation Agreement concluded between Iraq's Planning Ministry and the World Bank in 2007, the High Committee for the Strategy to Decrease Poverty in Iraq comprised members of the Iraqi Parliament, representatives of the ministries, universities and north Iraq's Kurdistan Regional government, in order to prepare a platform of statistical statements, related to the social and economic conditions of the family in Iraq.

Their report details measures targeted at cutting poverty, including the provision of micro-credits to the poor, and ensuring fair wages. It identifies three of the country’s 18 provinces as having the highest poverty rates: Muthanna in the south, Babil in the center and Salahadin in the north.

(Source: Aswat al-Iraq, Bloomberg)

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