Twelve people died and 29 were injured when a car bomb was detonated outside a shop in Kirkuk on May 24, 2014 (photo: dpa)

Iraq’s struggle against poverty and violence despite its oil wealth

Iraq has huge oil reserves but almost a quarter of its population lives in poverty. Infrastructure improvements could boost the economy but violence and terrorism is deterring outside contractors. More than 1,000 people died in the escalating violence in April 2014 and the finger of blame is pointing towards both Sunni extremist terrorism and government forces.

IRAQ is now a failed state despite its great oil riches which provide more than 90 per cent of government revenue.

Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is based heavily on oil production and appears to show the country’s promise, but closer inspection reveals the political and socio-economic malaise underneath.

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Professor Dr. Amatzia Baram
The World Bank considers Iraq as one of the least politically stable and most violent countries in the world, and worse under Prime Minister al-Maliki than under President Saddam Hussein (1979-2003)
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