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Iraqi government sets up ‘food security’ commission to fight poverty

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Iraqi government sets up ‘food security’ commission to fight poverty
Tuesday, October 12th 2010 2:04 PM

Baghdad, Oct. 12 (AKnews) - An adviser in the outgoing Iraqi government said on Monday that a higher commission to support food security in the country has been formed to alleviate the suffering of Iraq’s underclass.

Arif Mohammed told AKnews that the outgoing Iraqi government formed the commission that includes the Health, Labor, Social Affairs, Finance and Commerce ministries.

"The committee will develop clear mechanisms to reduce food poverty through a developed system ... It is made up of 17 members, including ministers and senior officials who will develop a comprehensive and effective plan to combat poverty," he said.

Iraq, which has the third largest proven oil reserves in the Middle East, is looking to its oil exports to, as Mohammed said, “contribute to the recovery of the economic situation and the fight against poverty.”

The governmental advisor went on to outline the role of the health ministry which “will play a key role in addressing the crises of poverty and hunger” in the course of the high commission’s five-year study.

The last report of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) placed Iraq among the 22 countries that suffer from acute poverty and lack of food security because of war and the failure of government institutions to provide the necessary sustenance.

The Iraqi Planning Ministry revealed earlier this year that the rate of poverty in Iraq stands at about 23%, equivalent to seven million people, who live below the poverty line on an individual income of less than 37,000 Iraqi Dinars (under $32) per month.

The Iraqi government expects this number to decrease to about 14% over the next five years following the implementation of the eventual recommendations of the newly established Higher Commission.

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