Nineveh: no meat in the kitchens of this city
Shafaq News / With features full of misery and worries, dozens of workers sit on the side of the road in the Bab Jadeed market (New Gate) on the right side of Mosul, hoping to cling to a job opportunity to bring food to the table.
This scene has become a feature of the city plunged into recession that teamed up high food prices to put more pressure on the families already burdened with poverty.
"I only work two days a week and earn 30,000 dinars; an amount that does not suffice my six-membered family and myself," Nashwan Mahmoud, a daily wager construction worker, explained.
He added that his family is breaking their fast on nothing but potatoes, and meat has become a rare guest on their table. Mahmoud, who barely makes ends meet by the end of the month, is anxious as Eid al-Fetr approaches, “I cannot afford new clothes for my children. The economic situation has exhausted me, just like thousands of my fellow people."
Not far from Mahmoud sat Jamil, a 60-year-old man who still works in construction and cleans sewers for a living. He told Shafaq News Agency correspondent that despite waiting every day from dawn until noon, he had gone back home empty-handed for five days.
Jamil, who does not have social welfare, stated that he was unable to pay his rent last month even though his son also works to meet the family's daily needs.
"If it were not for fear of God, unemployed people would be bandits and thieves, for there is nothing left to do to lead a decent life amid ever-rising prices."
According to official data from the State Statistics Department, unemployment rates in Nineveh have already gone south of 40%.
"The workers' segment has been crushed," said Munir Mahmoud al-Taie, president of the Nineveh Trade Union, in a statement to Shafaq News Agency, "the destitute and those daily earners are no longer able to withstand the economic crisis. They are caught between the hammer of unemployment and the anvil of high prices."
"Some households have to spend what they earn in one day, which barely covers the needs of a one day, on a span of four days."
Al-Taie warned of the reverberations of widespread unemployment and the lack of government solutions. "This will drag society into crime and delinquency, especially among young people. Crimes and robberies we often witness stem from unemployment and deprivation."
"If there are no rational solutions, we are on the verge of social collapse with disastrous consequences."
Nineveh, only second to Baghdad in terms of population, is home to more than 3.5 million people. The governorate continues to endure the impact of the political-economic conflict of the post-ISIS era.