Thursday Afternoon Iraq Economic News Highlights 10-6-22
Parliamentary Speech On The Date Of Approving The 2023 Budget
Political | 10:21 – 06/10/2022 Baghdad – Mawazine News, a member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Faisal Al-Naeli, suggested, on Thursday, the approval of the financial budget for 2023 early next year.
Al-Naeli said, “The budget of next year will be approved at the beginning of it, and no later than the months of January or February,” noting that “the formation of the government is near to be discussed in November and December, and it will be ready at the beginning of next year.”
Al-Naeli added in an interview with the official “Al-Sabah” newspaper, which was followed by “Mawazine News”, that “both the government and the committee will take into consideration the surplus that was achieved from crude oil sales after the rise in its prices globally.”
He continued, “The budget will be loaded with many positives that can be in the interest of the citizen without affecting the central bank’s reserves, after the difficult conditions that the country experienced during the Corona pandemic and the drop in global oil prices, which prompted the country to borrow.”
Al-Naeli pointed out that “providing services to the people in all governorates will be among the priorities of the 2023 budget, after it was missed over the past years.” Ended 29/N33
Anxiety In Europe And A Chronic Reality In Iraq.. Energy Rationing Tops Global Crises
Political | 03:31 – 05/10/2022 Baghdad – Mawazine News Energy rationing that worries Europe this winter is a normal thing for Muhammad Jabr, who has been living with it for decades… In his country, Iraq, whose infrastructure has been exhausted by wars, private generators are a vital component of life.
For more than 20 years, the sight of electric generators on city roads and streets has been an integral part of daily life. It is an essential source to compensate for the continuous power cuts that government stations are unable to provide. The hours of power outage may range from four to ten hours during the height of the summer, as the Ministry of Electricity acknowledges.
“Without generators, all of Iraq goes out,” said retired Jabr, 62, speaking from his small apartment in the poor neighborhood of Sadr City.
The man, who worked as an accountant in a government institution and paid a generator subscription of 75,000 dinars (about $50) per month, added that “the generator gives us electricity for the TV, refrigerator and air conditioner.”
Energy rationing has reached Europe. This appeared in new vocabulary that entered the words of the leaders of European countries and the European media, while the prices of energy and electricity rose in an unprecedented way after the flow of Russian gas stopped as a result of the war in Ukraine.
Several countries have resorted to measures, including reducing the lighting of public buildings, and some universities have extended their closure period in the winter, and residents have been called to reduce or postpone the operation of heaters and reduce the use of lighting and kitchen appliances, especially during the morning and evening peak hours.
For the 42 million Iraqis, rationing electricity is part of their daily lives, even though their country is among the world’s richest in oil, but has been plagued for decades by conflict and corruption.
The rationing is related to the level of energy provided by private generators, as it is usually not enough to run all household appliances. Khaled al-Shiblawy, who has been working for 13 years in operating generators that today provide electricity to 170 homes in Sadr City, says that it depends on “the size of the subscription…Some of them turn off the refrigerator, for example, or something else to keep the air conditioner on, or vice versa…”.
“Darkness” – Gabr
does not care much that the lights on the Eiffel Tower will be turned off at 11:45 pm instead of one after midnight, nor that the Christmas lights on the Champs Elysees will be cut off at 11:45 pm after they were turned off at 2 am every year During the year-end holidays.
“It is normal, in our areas, if an area becomes extinguished, it remains for a day and two days if there is a fault, until it is repaired,” he says.
He recalls what it was like after the invasion of Iraq by the international coalition to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, saying, “Houses were drowning in darkness,” as the infrastructure, including electricity stations, was almost completely destroyed during the military operations.
At the time, “the houses were dark, and the electricity came for a little two or three hours” a day, he recounts, adding that people used to buy “small generators that fill with gasoline and turn them on for a day or two.”
Currently, with the advent of autumn, the hours of rationing electric power in the country are declining, compared to the long summer months in which temperatures exceed fifty degrees Celsius, and the pressure on private generators is strong, and with it the value of the monthly tariff rises.
Many Iraqi provinces were deprived of electricity during the summer of 2021, and sporadic protests broke out in the country as a result.
To face the energy shortage, the Iraqi authorities, which rely heavily on electricity and gas to operate their plants, are trying to diversify their sources and increase production.
– “They will go back” – Iraq is currently producing more than 24,000 megawatts per day, according to Electricity Ministry spokesman Ahmed Musa, adding that “this is an unprecedented number.”
At the same time, he points out that in order to avoid rationing, more than 32 thousand megawatts must be secured.
Until Iraq can achieve this, the periods of providing electricity during the summer period range “between 14 hours, 16 hours, or 20 hours a day,” according to Moussa.
On a street in Sadr City, large private generators are scattered everywhere, sticking together, covered with used metal sheets, and out of which electric wires are attached to poles, one of which supplies power to 300 homes and 300 shops.
Ali al-Araji, 58, the founder of a private school, says, “As a school, we have a generator and we buy fuel at fantastic amounts, exorbitant amounts” of up to “about 600 dollars a month.”
“Electricity is an eternal problem for the Iraqis,” he adds with a sigh, blaming the “American occupation” of responsibility.
On the impact of the energy crisis on Europe, he says, “We have endured more than 30 years.”
He adds, “Energy is the source of economic recovery. Currently, Europe has been shaken.” He believes that the matter “will affect their economy, industry and trade, and they will take steps back.”
The Sacrificial Areas.. Oil Fields In Iraq Spread Cancer Like The Flu
Posted On2022-10-06 By Sotaliraq A press investigation revealed that communities living near oil fields, where gas is burned in the open air, are at risk of developing leukemia. The United Nations said it considers such places in Iraq to be “modern-day (human) offerings” where profit is prioritized over respect for human rights.
Both BP and Italy’s two major oil companies, Eni, operate at these sites. By this process, what is meant is the “absurd” burning of gas emitted when drilling for oil, which produces pollutants linked to cancer.
On the outskirts of the southeastern city of Basra, some of the country’s largest oil exploration areas are located. The gases flaring from these sites are considered dangerous because they emit a strong mixture of carbon dioxide, methane and highly polluting black soot.
Iraqi law prohibits, for health reasons, gas burning within six miles of residents’ homes, but we found gas-burning towns less than two miles from homes.
The Iraqi government is aware of the potential effects of burning gas; The BBC Arabic team was briefed on a leaked report of the Iraqi Ministry of Health, which blames air pollution for a rise in cancer incidence by up to 20 percent in Basra between 2015 and 2018. The first test was conducted to monitor pollution in at-risk communities, and the results indicated levels of High exposure to carcinogenic chemicals.
Using satellite data, it was found that the Rumaila field, the largest oil field in Basra, burns more gas than any other site in the world. This field is owned by the Iraqi government, and BP is the main contractor. In this field there is a city called “North Rumaila”, but the locals call it “the cemetery”. Teens came up with the phrase after noticing high levels of leukemia in their friends, which they suspected were caused by the gas ignition. Local ecologist, Professor Shukri El-Hassan, said the cancer there was so widespread that it was “like the flu”. In 2021, we met Ali Hussein Jalloud, 19, a resident of North Rumaila and a childhood leukemia survivor.
He refused to allow filming in Rumaila, so Ali trusted his life from the inside. Ali Hussain contacted BP on four different occasions to obtain compensation for the pollution.
Ali shows us videos on his mobile phone showing his primary school with torches burning behind it, and because of that, Ali had to drop out of school when he was 14 to undergo treatment.
He tells us that one day, on his way to the hospital after years of chemotherapy, he told his father, “It’s over for me, Dad. Please say goodbye to my mother for me.”
His father wipes tears at the mention of this incident.
But Ali is now in the recovery stage, he told us, asking BP for compensation, as the main contractor in the oil field, but his request has been silenced.
Many children in nearby villages did not survive after being diagnosed with cancer.
Fatima Falah Najim lived 25 miles (40 km) from Ali’s home in the Zubair oil field, with her parents and six siblings. Eni, the Italian oil major, is the main contractor for the Zubair field. Fatima was diagnosed at the age of eleven with a type of blood and bone cancer called acute lymphocytic leukemia, and exposure to benzene, which is found in burning gases, can increase the risk of people developing this condition.
From Fatima’s house we can see the glows that burn almost continuously; The nearest torch is located just 1.6 miles (2.6 km) from the family home. Fatima painted the “fiery fire” that surrounded her house while she was in the hospital; She told us that she enjoyed watching her at night as that became a natural thing for her.
But for her father, watching her get sick was like “a fire was burning and I couldn’t put it out”. Last year, doctors managed to secure a bone marrow transplant for Fatima outside the country, but she was too ill to travel. Fatima passed away last November when she was thirteen years old.
The Iraqi Ministry of Health report shows that the government is aware of health issues in those areas, but the Iraqi prime minister himself issued a secret order, seen by BBC News Arabic, prohibiting employees from talking about the health damage caused by pollution.
David Boyd, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, told us that people who live near oil fields are “victims of state and corporate collusion, and in most cases lack the political power to bring about change.”
Ali Hussain, a leukemia survivor, said: “Here in Rumaila no one is talking. They say they are afraid to speak out for fear of being expelled.”
Until now, health researchers have been denied entry to oil fields to conduct air quality tests. So BBC Arabic worked with environmental and health experts to conduct the first independent monitoring of pollution in communities living near oil fields.
It tested carcinogenic chemicals emitted by burning the gas over a two-week period, and air tests conducted in five communities indicated that benzene levels, which are linked to leukemia and other blood disorders, reached or exceeded Iraq’s national limit in at least four places.
Urine samples collected from 52 children indicated that 70 percent of them had elevated levels of 2-naphthhol, a form of naphthalene that is likely to cause cancer. “Children have high levels of it,” said Dr. Manuela Orguilla Grimm, a professor of pediatric cancer at Columbia University. “This is a cause for concern and means they need to be closely monitored.” The BBC presented these results to the Iraqi Oil Minister, Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail. He told us, “We have instructed all contracted companies operating in the oil fields to abide by international standards.”
The BBC has asked BP and Eni to respond to its inquiry.
ENI said it “strongly rejects any claim that its activities endanger the health of the Iraqi people.”
While BP said: “We are very concerned about the issues raised by the BBC, and we will look into these concerns immediately.”
About BBC Arabic LINK
The Factions Are Waging A Street War And The Night Of Basra Is Out Of Control
Posted On2022-10-06 By Sotaliraq Basra is under the buzz of bullets, on another difficult night in the city and its people, with violent clashes between two armed factions. Confrontations took place in which light weapons and rockets were used near the government palace complex that includes security headquarters, causing intimidation of residents and damage to the homes of some of them.
Basem Hussein, a writer and analyst, told UTV that “the main reason for what happened is the uncontrolled weapons, the weakness of the security services and their intelligence, and the bloodshed. My home is close to the area. The sounds of gunfire were clear and frightening.”
The government and security silence turned a blind eye to what happened, despite the pledges and promises not to allow Basra to be dragged into armed confrontations with political backgrounds, only a few days ago, amid questions about the reasons for the absence of scenes of heavy security deployment, as happened on the eve of the popular protests.
Jassim al-Moussawi, a political analyst, told UTV that “the essence of this double standards is the deep state, meaning that what is happening is that there is a state within a state, and whoever rules is the non-state, and it wants to rule the country according to the law of chaos and not state building.”
Anxiety dominates the street, as Basra is afraid of the expansion of the clashes and the increase in their repercussions, disrupting life and paralyzing movement in the economic capital of Iraq.
Against the background of recent events, the Chief of Staff of the Army, accompanied by a number of senior officers, arrived in Basra to discuss the security file in a city where weapons are widespread, threatening its fragile stability.
Reporter: Saad Qusay Tags LINK