It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Plagued by relentless violence, Iraqis have little cause for hope economically and socially, having suffered a tragic plunge in living standards and high unemployment, a Planning Ministry survey has showed.
The situation in the oil power once regarded as an intellectual and economic hub of the Arab world is rapidly deteriorating, the survey showed.
"This survey shows a rather tragic situation of the quality of life in Iraq," Minister of Planning Barham Salih told a news conference.
"These statistics reflect the contrast between the wealth of this country and the deteriorating level of all vital sectors for Iraqis."
Drug smugglers are taking advantage of internal chaos in Iraq to route Afghani produced heroin through the Iraq and into Europe, according to the agency that implements UN drug conventions.
"Heroin and drugs produced with the opiates cultivated in Afghanistan take a transit route through Iraq and are entering Jordan en route to final destinations in Eastern and Western Europe," International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) president Hamid Ghodse said.
"This situation is due to the internal situation in Iraq, weakening of border controls and security infrastructures.""Drug trafficking groups are said to enter Iraq's holy cities disguised as pilgrims to go about their business," he added.
Drug smugglers exploiting internal chaos in Iraq have turned the country into a transit route for Afghan heroin, an influential drug agency says.
High levels of insurgent violence and porous borders have drawn traffickers to Iraq, according to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).
The board says Jordan has seized large quantities of drugs on the Iraq border.
Authorities in Afghanistan say their drug problem is so severe the country's existence could be threatened.
Some strategists may be betting that a successful war in Iraq will
liberate Iraqi oil as well as the Iraqi people. A quick victory in Iraq followed
by relative stability in the region could lead to increases in oil-production
capacity in Iraq, Iran, and other countries, putting downward pressure on oil
prices in the years ahead. Some observers have pointed to the possibility of
$10 per barrel oil and gasoline below $1 per gallon.
Such a scenario is not physically impossible. A rapid development of
Iraqi oil resources could flood the market with oil, drive down oil prices, and
give a boost to industrial economies. But there are several obstacles down
that path: the physical and financial requirements for oil-field expansion,
OPEC quotas, resistance to Iraqi oil growth from OPEC and other oil
producers, and reluctance of oil-importing countries to become even more
dependent on Persian Gulf oil.
We can sketch out a reasonable â€œhappyâ€ scenario as follows. After two
decades of war and sanctions, Iraqâ€™s oil infrastructure is poorly maintained
and plagued by technical difficulties.
Living conditions for Iraqis have plunged over the past 25 years with many households struggling to fulfil basic needs, an Iraqi-UN report says.
In 2004, a year after the fall of Saddam Hussein, some 22,000 households were questioned about their lives.
The study paints a "rather tragic situation of the quality of life", said Iraqi planning minister Barham Saleh.
He blamed the former regime, but the insecurity which has followed its fall is also seen as playing a key role.
Improving security will be crucial in lifting living standards in Iraq, now among the lowest in the region, according to the UN Development Programme's country director for Iraq.