Monday, December 18, 2006

Iraq's Refugee And Economic Problems And Low Per Capita Income Level

On CNN and some cable business channels, the Kurds in Northern Iraq are advertising for business investment, referring to their nation as Kurdistan, almost hoping that no one will realize that it's actually part of Northern Iraq. There are some pockets of relative middle class affluence in some portions of Baghdad. And with perhaps the largest undiscovered oil deposits in the world, possiby as much as 220 billion barrels, or the equivalent of a 98 year supply of oil for the U.S. But what spoils any of these hopes for a surging ecenomy in Iraq and fuels a growing refugee crisis, is the 1,100 acts of violence each day in Iraq according to the report by the Iraq Study Group. With no real stability, and near complete anarchy in many Iraqi areas, there simply is not the stability for stable investment for any viable Iraqi economy to grow and help to reduce the unemployment rate in Iraq which may be as bad as 60% overall.

Just a few hours ago, the Pope called for international aid to help the Iraqi refugees in Syria which now overwelm the available housing and humanitarian services such as the Red Cresent that Syria can provide. Between Syria and Jordan, as many as 1.6 million Iraqi refugees may exist, with hundreds of thousands more also living in tent cities within remote areas of Western Iraq.

The continued sectarian conflict in Iraq helps to keep the economy of Iraq the second worst in the MidEast at just $3,600 a year per capita income. Only Yemen is much worse with their coffee export based economy badly ruined due to drought conditions and really sagging at just $751 per capita. By comparison the per capita income in all other MidEast states is far more healthy than Iraq. In the United Arab Emirates it is $39,585, in Bahrain it is $20,500, in Qatar it is $31, 397, in Saudi Arabia it is $15,338, in Jordan it is $4,825, in Syria it is $5,348, in Oman it is $16,852, In Kuwait it is $16,300, in Iran it is $8,400, in Egypt it is $4,317, in Lebanon it is $6,681 and in Israel it is $23,416.

The continued sectarian violence in Iraq is creating a huge regional refugee crisis that only helps to cause new MidEast strains of throngs of poor flooding into Jordan and Syria. And it is possible that only Iraqi Sunni refugees may only feel the most welcome in Syria as well, leaving many Shiites stuck in tent cities in remote areas of Iraq.

The low per capita income in Iraq is only another sign of a huge growing MidEast refugee crisis due to the worsening situation in Iraq.


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