From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting a community in Iraq’s historic marshes.

For years, people there have relied on the wetlands for herding water buffaloes.

But the pandemic is now threatening their livelihood.

Al Jazeera‘s Katia Lopez-Hodoyan reports:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is seeing an unprecedented rise in the number of coronavirus infections as doctors warn the healthcare system is close to collapse.

Ten days after the government decided to partly ease the curfew in Iraq, the rate of COVID-19 infections is rising rapidly, with more than 1,800 new cases recorded a day.

Al Jazeera‘s Simona Foltyn reports from Baghdad:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Some of Iraq’s most traditional craft works are at risk of vanishing, as a nationwide financial crisis hits home-grown industries.

The government hopes prioritising the development of its private sector will help its otherwise oil-dependent economy.

Al Jazeera‘s Simona Foltyn has this report from Baghdad:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is facing its worst economic crisis since 2003, worsened by the global drop in oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s government led by has proposed austerity measures, including capping the amount and number of state salaries and pensions people can receive.

Many people rely on pensions and reparations from the government.

Al Jazeera‘s Simona Foltyn reports from Baghdad, Iraq:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

After months of anti-government protests and political uncertainty, Iraq is now grappling with its worst fiscal crisis in decades.

The country’s economy and state budget are heavily reliant on oil income, and have been hit hard by the sharp decline in global oil prices.

The World Bank has projected Iraq’s GDP to contract by 9.7 percent, with the fiscal deficit expected to reach almost 30 percent of GDP. Iraq’s newly appointed government, led by Mustafa al-Kadhimi, is now faced with a challenging task of implementing long-overdue structural reforms, such as reducing public sector employment while also keeping popular unrest at bay.

But what are the root causes of the current economic crisis and what needs to be done to tackle it? And how can the new government overcome entrenched political interests that oppose reform while also winning over a public that has lost all trust in the political establishment?

Ramzi Neman, the World Bank’s special representative to Iraq, talks to Al Jazeera:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The future for more than 5,000 US soldiers in Iraq is about to become clearer.

Since joining the fight against ISIL in 2014, Washington has provided about $5bn in military aid to Baghdad.

But discussions are now being held on how much longer the troops will be there.

Al Jazeera‘s Simona Foltyn reports from Baghdad:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

With a fall in oil prices, countries like Iraq are looking to diversify their economy.

But corruption is making that difficult.

Al Jazeera‘s Simona Foltyn has this exclusive report on the challenges facing Iraq’s agriculture sector:

On April 20, 2020, IRIS held a webinar entitled¬†Iraq’s Economy: Spotlight on Oil and Gas.

The discussion focused on Iraq’s economy amidst falling oil prices and additional pressures from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Speakers included IRIS Senior Fellow and AFC Iraq Fund Chief Investment Officer Ahmed Tabaqchali, Iraq Correspondent for Associated Press (AP) Samya Kullab, and MENA Programme Manager at the International Energy Agency (IEA) Ali Al-Saffar.

The discussion was moderated by IRIS Director Mac Skelton:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Poverty is on the rise in Iraq as more cases of COVID-19 are reported.

Daily wage earners are being forced to stay at home because of the lockdown there.

Volunteers are helping some of the millions struggling without an income.

Al Jazeera’s Simona Foltyn reports from Baghdad:

Iraqi-American NASA Astronaut, Jessica Meir, has sent an empowering message of support to kids on the Hope Buses in Baghdad, all the way from the International Space Station!

In light of the current global crisis, this message reminds us that our family is so important and also bigger than we think; it’s a time where we really need to come together to support each other from all corners of the earth, and beyond!

In her message, Astronaut Meir encourages¬†Iraqi kids by saying “reach for your dreams and believe that they can come true“; this message is extra special as one of our recent Hope Bus students has big dreams of becoming an Astronaut!