8 signs that Iraq is back on the “right track”

8 signs that Iraq is back on the “right track”

8/6/2020 15:33

8 signs that Iraq is back on the[Follow-up]
A report by the Wall Street Journal said that Iraq has finally started to return to the right path, even though it is going through an unenviable situation at the present time as a result of the Corona pandemic and the struggle of regional and international wills within its territories.
The report monitored several indicators reported by the American “Brookings” Institute confirming progress in many areas of the country from 2003 until today.

First: The country’s population has risen from about 25 million in the last years of Saddam Hussein’s rule to 40 million today.

According to the newspaper, this in itself is neither good nor bad, but it means that Iraq is big enough to be an important player in Middle East politics.

Second: The per capita GDP increased to nearly six thousand dollars, compared to less than four thousand two decades ago.

The newspaper report indicates that there is still substantial poverty in Iraq, corruption is rampant, and the prospects for work for Iraqi youth are modest, but nevertheless, there have been positive economic developments.

Third: Oil production increased from about 2.5 million barrels per day in the last years of Saddam’s rule to about 4.5 million barrels now, and export revenues from oil have tripled on average since 2002.

Fourth: The annual rate of internal displacement has fallen by more than half since the defeat of ISIS ISIS.

Fifth: Many indicators of quality of life have improved significantly over the past two decades. Mobile phones, which were limited to the Ba’athist elite, are ubiquitous, and the total number of users is almost equal to the population.

Internet users now total about 10 million.

Sixth: The average life expectancy of an individual has increased from 67 years in 2002 to about 73 years today.

Seventh: The number of modern sanitation facilities that have reached more than 40 percent of the population has increased, compared to 32 percent before 2003.

More than half of the population has access to safe drinking water as well, although this file still needs to be made Greater efforts.

Eighth: The national literacy rate increased from 74 percent at the turn of the century to 85 percent today.

The “Wall Street Journal” report concludes, however, that there is still a long way to go for Iraq to achieve the desired political and economic stability, in light of the popular protests that erupted last year, high indicators of corruption and a decline in press freedom.

The protests began last October and lasted for several months, during which hundreds of thousands of Iraqis demanded jobs, services and the departure of the ruling elite, which they said was corrupt.

The protests caused the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who was replaced in May by Mustafa al-Kazemi, the former head of the intelligence service.

Iraq, which relies on oil exports to get most of its revenues, suffers from corruption and mismanagement for many years, and ranked No. 161 out of 168 countries in Transparency International’s annual report on corruption for 2015.

Iraq currently ranks 156 out of 180 countries in the ranking The World Press Freedom issued by Reporters Without Borders.