CNN took a break from attractive young white female victims and pseudo-victims to note that the conditions in Iraq are for shit.
In the wake of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the country still struggles with high unemployment, inconsistent utility services and widespread poverty, a joint survey from the Iraqi government and United Nations indicates.
Released Thursday, the report from Iraq’s Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation and the U.N. Development Program in Iraq surveyed nearly 22,000 households in the country’s 18 provinces during 2004.
Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. program’s resident representative for Iraq, said Thursday that the “Iraqi people are suffering. They are going through a very difficult time. We knew it, but now it’s been proven.”
The survey estimated that the minimum number of war-related deaths ranges from 18,000 to 29,000 and is probably higher.
The report said the survey didn’t attempt to count entire families who died and therefore underestimates the total number of people killed.
Children under 18 accounted for 12 percent of the deaths, the report said, while the information on infant mortality and malnutrition shows that “the suffering of children due to war and conflict in Iraq is not limited to those directly wounded or killed by military activities.”
Children also are affected by widespread malnutrition. About 43 percent of boys and girls between the ages of 6 months and 5 years suffer from some form of the condition — chronic, general or acute malnutrition.
“Although a large percentage of the population in Iraq is connected to water, electricity and sewage networks, the supply is too unstable to make a difference to their lives,” he said in a news release.
According to the survey, 98 percent of Iraqi households are connected to the national electricity grid, but only 15 percent find the supply stable.
As for water availability, the figures were 78 percent (had water) and 66 percent (had problems).
More than a fourth of Iraqis surveyed described themselves as being poor and 96 percent said they receive monthly food rations under the public food system set up through the oil-for-food program.
The median income in Iraq was equivalent to about $255 (366,000 dinars) in 2003 and decreased in the first half of 2004 to about $144 (207,000 dinars).
The report indicated it was difficult to come up with concrete numbers from prior years to indicate the movement of wages.
“However, most observers agree that, due to a combination of wars, sanctions and economic mismanagement, the average Iraqi household probably has lower real income today than in 1980,” the report said.