"A study conducted by the ministry in coordination with the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Development Program shows that 20 percent of the population is affected by poverty," Leila Kazem, director general of the department of social affairs at the labour ministry said.
"Some two million Iraqi families live under the poverty line, as defined by international criteria, which is fixed at one dollar per day per person."
The decline in living standards is caused by "the rise in unemployment, violence, and the decline in public sector and civil service jobs," she said.
"The number of people requiring social assistance by our minister is dwarfed by the large number of people in need," she said, adding that "actually only 171,000 families across the entire country receive social assistance," compared to the two million needing it.
This paltry amount of aid, which runs between 40,000 to 50,000 dinars (30 to 35 dollars) a month, according to the families, will be increased by a new amendment to a social security law dating from 1980.
According to the amendment, aid will be set between 70,000 dinars (50 dollars) minimum for a family of two and 120,000 dinars (85 dollars) for families with six or more.
The aid will also be extended to groups not covered by the former regime of Saddam Hussein, including the unemployed, the infirm, the elderly and low income groups.
The ministry official said a comprehensive re-evaluation of the entire welfare system will take place over the next six months, with an eye towards adjusting the aid to take into account inflation.
Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16