Coronavirus "to Raise Poverty Rate to over 20%"

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Coronavirus to raise poverty rate in Iraq to over 20%, warns minister

Iraq's poverty rate is expected to rise to more than 20 per cent as a result of the halt in trading following the outbreak of the coronavirus, the country's planning minister warned yesterday.

Nuri Al-Dulaimi told reporters in Baghdad that poverty in Iraq had amounted to 20 per cent, citing a survey carried out by his ministry in 2018.

"National poverty rate is expected to rise after a number of private sector workers had lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak," he said.

"Poverty in the country's southern province of Al-Muthanna has reached 52 per cent," Al-Dulaimi pointed out, calling on private businesses to "stimulate the sector".

Ninety per cent of Iraq's economy is dependent on oil sales, according to experts.Coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has led numerous governments around the globe to impose a series of social and economic restrictions, in an effort to contain the virus outbreak, which has frozen the global production and slashed demand for goods and services.

The virus - declared as "pandemic" by the World Health Organisation (WHO) - has so far killed over 251,480 people and infected more than 3,633,833 globally, according to the US' Worldometer.

(Picture credit: Layth Maydi)

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