Creating Jobs Imperative In Iraq
July 1, 2008
We’ve covered the creation of new jobs in Iraq several times here at A Soldier’s Mind. For the citizens of Iraq, just as here in the United States, it’s important for jobs to be available, so that the people can earn a living and support their families. Because of the war in Iraq, many jobs went away, or people were too afraid to go to work, due to threats and violence on the part of the insurgents.
Iraq’s government has launched programs all across the country, to create jobs for the citizens. It’s important that they continue to do so. If there aren’t jobs, then the current stability that has recently been seen in the country, will vanish. Many jobs have been created, with the aid of different micro grants and other programs supported by US Troops. By creating jobs, the Iraqi economy will be revived.
As many as 4,000 people per day are being hired in Baghdad, to help with reconstruction, cleaning the streets, painting and other jobs. Workers are paid a daily rate to do these jobs. Other areas of Iraq have similar programs, though the numbers aren’t as great as they are in Baghdad. The national government is offering various job training programs around the country, to help people learn new job skills. Unemployment benefits are also being paid to some of the jobless.
Some people who have job skills, such as teachers are currently working in various labor jobs, as many of the schools are still being rebuilt. One of those teachers, Hazim Kadim is currently working as a street cleaner in Baghdad, though he longs to get back to his true calling …. teaching.
“I want to work a real job, a job that is in my profession,” he said. “These jobs, they are very little.”
Currently, it is estimated that the unemployment rate in Iraq is between 35 and 50 %. The high rates of unemployment have been thought to feed the outbreaks of violence across the country. When Saddam Hussein’s army was disbanded, thousands of his Soldiers were left without jobs. Many went on to band with the insurgency. Others, looking for work are going to work for the US led coalition and other foreign agencies, often at great risk. The insurgents have long targeted those who work with and for the coalition.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has begun a major push to increase trade ties and attract investment from neighbors like Turkey. But investment is coming in only slowly and sporadically, even in key industries like oil, for which a law meant to pave the way for investment is still hung up in parliament. Not all of the unemployment problems in Iraq, stem from the war though.
Prior to the war, the economy was state controlled. That discouraged private entrepreneurship and outside investment. Because of the sanctions against the Saddam era government, that withheld current technology from the country, for improvements and repairs to government operated power stations and factories.
Slowly, things are beginning to improve in Iraq. As new jobs are created, more people will be able to return to work and support their families. Hopefully, for most, the new jobs will come in time and the citizens of Iraq can continue to rebuild their country and their lives.