October 07, 2019
Iraqi government announced on Sunday new reforms to meet the demands of demonstrators in the capital Baghdad and southern cities. According to the official news agency of Iraq, the cabinet held an extraordinary meeting upon the call of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi. The cabinet issued a decree of planned reforms, including land distributions and increased welfare stipends for needy Iraqi families. A national housing plan, which includes the construction of 100,000 buildings and prioritizes poor cities, was promised by the cabinet decree. 150,000 unemployed Iraqis who are unable to work will be given $147 financial support by the government for three months.
Education programs will be organized for 150,000 young Iraqis, and they will also be given $147 for three months as part of the package. Successful candidates will be employed in investment companies or will be provided with loans to establish small or medium enterprises. Those who lost their lives in the demonstrations will be considered "martyrs", and their families will be provided with the related concessions, the Iraqi government announced. The Health Ministry will also pay for all treatment costs of security personnel and protestors injured in the demonstrations.
The move came amid demonstrations in Baghdad and southern provinces against high unemployment and rampant corruption since Oct. 1. At least 104 people were killed and 6,107 injured in anti-government protests in Iraq since Oct. 1, the country's Interior Ministry said on Sunday. Protesters are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi as well as improvements in living conditions and an end to corruption. Discontent has been growing in Iraq in recent years due to rising unemployment and rampant corruption. Many in the country have limited access to basic services such as electricity and clean water, and unemployment is around 10%.