Shafaq news / Many beggars in Iraq didn’t expect their livelihood places to turn into empty streets, due to the imposed curfew to prevent the spread of Corona virus.
The beggars were shocked by the strict measures, after they had a “Job” which is begging in the streets and traffic intersections to collect money.
In Basra, the center of the oil industry in Iraq, beggars suffer from the same procedures that affected their living methods seeking help from passers-by and cars, which in turn affected their lifestyle and the livelihoods of their families.
A beggar from one of the Iraqi provinces ,who refused to be named but is known as "Abu Jinan", indicated that he has came to Basra years ago because of the province’s imports, But was shocked by cutting their livelihoods as a result of Corona virus ghost as he describes.
“Abu Jinan “ notes that this reality forced them to stay in hotels, slums or rented houses amid their deep confusion about how to provide a living for themselves and their families, without the ability, as a beggar , to appear in the media and talk about the injustice and extreme poverty they’re suffering.
He added “some of us can’t find a way of living other than begging, others are forced to coexist with hunger due to Corona virus like the rest of the world."
“Abu Karar” a mobile vendor in al-Ashar region, sees it from another aspect and said to Shafaq news reporter, “The government and begging mafias are responsible for the situation of people having to beg to gain a livelihood “
He adds “through wandering I witness how women, children, and elders humiliate themselves and struggle to get 250 Iraqi dinars in the richest Iraqi province due to the deterioration in the service, health and living conditions .
“Abu karar “adds, due to the evolving coronavirus, beggars couldn’t go back to practice their work in the streets. Thus most of them may consider traveling to other provinces with stable health conditions. But they can’t because they don’t have enough money to travel nor to pay the debts in the hotels they’re staying in , As well as being threatened by some begging mafias and by Basra’s local government .
Shafaq News tried to reach the officials in Basra to know how these authorities work on Corona virus’s affect on the beggars .
In this context, “Mohsen Al-Mudhafar “ the director of the Department of Labor and Social Welfare in Basra,told Shafaq News that most beggars are from other Iraqi provinces and are staying in some hotels located in various areas of Basra . He adds that “it was more appropriate for the security authorities to consider and deal with this issue in the past years”
Due to the curfew in various parts of Basra , some beggars are trying to seize an opportunity to beg in front of malls or stores and in front of some governmental institutions that the curfew has not been applied upon, Trying to gain a living for themselves and their families after they were chased away by Corona epidemic.