Diyala to turn 20,000 temporary jobs into permanent positions

An unemployed young man in one of Diyala's markets waits to be hired to carry groceries on his cart. [Mahmoud al-Mulhim/Mawtani]

An unemployed young man in one of Diyala's markets waits to be hired to carry groceries on his cart. [Mahmoud al-Mulhim/Mawtani]

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Twenty thousand temporary jobs created during the Bashayer al-Khair campaign to combat terrorism and unemployment in Diyala province will be turned into permanent positions in three phases, provincial officials announced last week.

According to Diyala governor Hisham al-Hiyali, the first phase involves screening 12,500 contractors who are currently working for provincial directorates but have not been officially endorsed by the Ministry of Finance to become permanent employees.

The second phase involves screening around 4,000 randomly chosen individuals who have not yet begun working in the directorates.

The third phase involves receiving applicants from provincial residents to fill the remaining 3,000 slots.

Combating terrorism and unemployment

Bashayer al-Khair was a military campaign launched by Iraqi forces in 2008 to pursue and hunt down al-Qaeda members in Diyala province.

Following the success of the military campaign, Diyala launched scores of projects in 2009 to find work for 20,000 unemployed people.

Last month, following the approval of the federal budget in February, the Iraqi parliament formed a committee to convert the temporary contracts created under the Bashayer al-Khair campaign into permanent positions.

According to Diyala province spokesperson Turath Mahmoud, the Iraqi cabinet added another 10,000 job slots to the 20,000 approved by parliament.

"Here in the province we have 40,000 unemployed people, of whom 30,000 will be given jobs," he told Mawtani.

Turning the contracts into permanent jobs "will help improve the living standards of Iraqi families in Diyala province by fighting unemployment", said Iraqi parliament member Mohammad al-Khalidi.

"The province's parliament members are also working on energising the role of the private sector in view of its importance in employing large numbers of the unemployed, supporting the national economy, and uplifting the province's economy and the process of reconstruction," he said.

'A better future'

The announcement generated reactions welcoming the initiative, as well as scepticism over whether it can be implemented effectively.

"Many of the province's sheikhs doubt whether the situation in Diyala will improve and reach the level hoped for because of administrative corruption," Sheikh Hussein al-Khalaf, a Dulaim tribal chief in Diyala, told Mawtani.

At the same time, al-Khalaf emphasised "the tribesmen's and the provincial figures' solidarity with officials to uplift the state of services and improve security and the social situation in Diyala."

Mohamamd Jameel al-Amery of the Diyala agriculture department told Mawtani the initiative is much-needed in his sector.

"Diyala is one of the important agricultural provinces of Iraq. The agricultural sector has greatly deteriorated due to many factors, the most important of which was al-Qaeda's control over parts of the province for about four years," he said.

"We badly need workers in various fields and specialties in order to exercise our patriotic duty in reviving the province's agriculture sector. Therefore, appointing the contractors of Bashayer al-Khair will meet the agricultural sector's need for jobs," al-Amery said.

Saad Fadhil, 27, one of the contractors, welcomed his appointment as an English teacher.

"The majority of the province's young people are unemployed. Some work on daily wages, without future security, but my work as a teacher will ensure a better future for me," he said.

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  • READER COMMENTS

    احمد

    2013-2-21

    Why we saw no sign of these glad tidings in the Diyala Health Directorate? What is the causes?

  • سنان عباس خضر

    2012-10-4

    I want the new names of the good omens!

  • جبر

    2012-5-19

    We need to have many projects in agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, services, education and many other sectors, and we need to put in place projects in order to solve many crises such as housing and unemployment.

  • عبيد حسين

    2012-5-15

    Unfortunately, it has become almost impossible for the Government to deal with a lot of issues and crises which we wished that it would work on ridding the people of, and ending the suffering that they are experiencing. In fact, people are suffering because of such crises and deficiencies affecting all fields including services, the lack of electricity, the shortage of municipal services and corruption. The latter is an important and necessary issue which we hoped that the Government and the departments concerned with administrative and financial corruption will combat. However, corruption still exists and services are still hampered and unavailable for people in all regions and Iraqi provinces. Indeed, this issue causes us a lot of frustration, given that since the overthrow of the regime in Iraq, we are still living on promises and illusions which claim that things will improve and become better. Yet, there is not any real work or someone who holds those accountable or follows these important issues. We have nothing but political problems and conflicts whose outcome is the delay in the improvement of Iraq, services and people’s life in general.

  • ماهر

    2012-5-15

    The streets in al-Tahrir, I swear we are going to die. I ask the esteemed Council of Diyala to look into this matter. Thanks!

  • رافد ثاير

    2012-5-9

    We are inquiring about those of us who submitted applications, but our names have yet to appear on the list of successful applicants…what shall we do?

  • عبد الرحيم العكيلي

    2012-5-4

    Despite the fact that I do not want to criticize the Iraqi workforce, but we have to admit that the Iraqi worker lacks many things that are required in work despite the foreign workers. The Iraqi worker is negligent, indifferent, and chaotic and does not care about organizing his work. He also is always complaining. On the other hand, the foreign worker comes to Iraq to make living seriously and they work hard and comply with the regulations. However, there is a very negative phenomenon because we noticed that the foreign workers started imitating the Iraqis in some negative aspects. We need to activate the discipline and seriousness among the Iraqis in all institutions.

  • سيف عبدالكريم

    2012-5-3

    Is my name among the names of the Bashaer Khair?

  • سيف

    2012-4-27

    Omar Qahtan al-Karim! When his name appears, please tell me! Thanks! Also, Haytham Adnan Aref! Please bring me good news, dear people!

  • قاسم

    2012-4-26

    In my view, Iraq is a country that has experienced many changes through the years, and with every change, there are perhaps many problems and differences that come up and which cause inconveniences for some time, and this in my view is something very normal, as in the end, everyone will become aware of the change and how to deal with it in the proper manner, far from the pressures exerted by groups trying to outdo each other. I am convinced that everyone loves Iraq, and that everyone is working for the interest of this country and its people, and as such, my view regarding the future of Iraq is a positive one by all standards, as Iraq has in the recent years taken the right direction, and it has begun to overcome many of the problems that came up in the wake of the change that occurred in Iraq, and it came out of this safe and sound, praise Allah, in spite of the selfish interests that wanted to create internal confusion in Iraq and cause the country to collapse. Such negative stances were displayed by the neighboring countries that did not like the democratic experiment in the new Iraq. However, Allah has foiled the schemes of these countries that were sponsoring terrorism and pouring fuel on the fire, and thank Allah that today Iraq is back on its feet, by Allah’s favor and thanks to the concern of the good-hearted people of this country who are its guardians. Hence, I am filled with optimism with regard to the future of my beloved and dear country of Iraq, which will witness more stability in many areas. As we can see today, there is stability in terms of the security situation, following the routing of the remnants of terrorism and takfiri ideology, and the routing of elements of the sectarian militias. There is also economic stability, which was revived thanks to the stable security situation. Today, Iraq is country where many investment projects are being carried out, many of which will be completed in the near and foreseeable future, and this is yet another aspect that adds to our optimism regarding the future of Iraq, which will experience more stability with time, and the Iraqi citizens will feel the concrete effects of such stability and they will have peace of mind regarding their future and that of their country.

  • نسيم فاضل

    2012-4-24

    We hear about many initiatives by the concerned ministries in the government of Iraq. It refers to giving the Iraqis something great of hope, through what is declared by such departments, by agreeing on implementing construction plans in the country. These will have a major role in relieving the suffering of the Iraqi people. They are suffering from deprivation because of the lack of necessary services that relate to their daily lives. In addition, these services lead to the conservation about the marital and family entity in the Iraqi society. The Iraqi man’s concern has become obtaining a suitable place to house his family and protecting them from displacement and dislocation, due to the lack of shelter needed by the Iraqi family. But the hopes remain unfulfilled for the Iraqi people, who have been waiting for years so that these ministries would realize their wishes that they are looking to achieve, but to no avail.

  • غالب عبد الحسين

    2012-4-21

    The future of Iraq is lost and unknown. Everyone knows that the governments that ruled Iraq have destroyed it, and that the wars and the terrorists have made Iraq one of the worst Arab states, and that the current government led by Nuri al-Maliki has destroyed Iraq very greatly. Everything that is happening in Iraq is difficult, including terrorism and the misery that the Iraqis are living in, and the issue of electricity has become one of the imaginary things. It is impossible that they will improve it one day and that they will be on the right track. I want to say to the Iraqi government: “How despicable and cowardly you are; you've helped in the destruction and loss of Iraq, and you are sending it to a place beyond what is expected.” The poor Iraqis are suffering a great deal from the lack of services because of more important issues, most notably the ration that the Iraqis may have forgotten, because every day the ration is decreasing. But to this day there is no complete share at all. To my mind, it is the duty of every Iraqi to rid his country of the evil of the thief Al-Maliki and from the evil of everyone working with him, because he is a thief who is working on selling Iraq’s bounties to other countries, notably Iran. The oil well of al-Fakka has been forgotten and the Iraqi government is covering certain issues other than the ration and other than oil. I want to tell him, “By God the Magnificent, this is forbidden for you and for those who work with you, in that the poor Iraqi mother goes out at midnight or in the early morning after the Fajr prayer in order to go and stand in the queue to get a share of oil or a gas bottle.” I want to ask him: “Would you accept your mother being at this level and doing what this poor Iraqi mother did?” All of this, and unfortunately, the prices are very high and no one can buy oil out of the station, because the oil and gas prices are very high and the Iraqis are forced to purchase these materials in whatever way they can.

  • تحسين ابراهيم

    2012-4-21

    We do not know the reason for the inability to carry out the construction projects. Why do we have such slowness and delays in providing services to the Iraqi people? When will these projects be carried out? Where does the money allocated for these projects go? It is said that these projects are appropriated for the service projects; the money is spent, yet they projects are not achieved. There must be a lot of neglect, dereliction and many instances of administrative and financial corruption.

  • منال رجب

    2012-4-20

    We all know what corruption is, and where corruption and corrupt individuals have brought Iraq. These are the people that I consider to be enemies of our people and country. They work in building projects not for the sake of building, but quite the contrary, they work on corrupting these projects and ensuring their failure, and causing the most damage to them through the corruption that they engage in, which has tremendously affected the rebuilding process in Iraq. Such corrupt individuals cannot be allowed to continue in their corruption and wrongful ways and aggression against Iraqis and the people’s wealth. As such, thieves like these should be held accountable, and they as well as their corruption should be gotten rid of, as they have cost Iraq millions of dollars due to the stealing that goes on in the large and huge projects. I believe that monitoring administrative corruption in Iraq could be implemented on a larger scale than what is being done now, and this requires first of all an end to all kinds of political favoritism and leniency among all the political forces operating in Iraq. Serious efforts should be made, and the monitoring agencies should engage in their work in an effective manner, far away from merely issuing statements. We have long been hearing fairness and transparency agencies talk about corrupt individuals in Iraq, hinting to this or that party, but unfortunately, we have not seen any actions taken by these monitoring agencies. This is evidence of their inability of dealing with corrupt individuals, probably because of their political affiliations or positions.

  • موسى جبار

    2012-4-20

    The situation in Iraq no longer satisfies anyone. The Iraqi citizen suffers from poor public facilities and services. It is not enough for the citizen to face the difficulties of life and search for his next meal so that he could live. He even suffers from lack of access to part of his rights as a natural human being and the officials do not care about the interests and concerns of the citizens. However, he no longer receives any service. The problem of electricity, for example, the Iraqis suffer a lot from it and the officials did not find a solution for it until now, therefore, the citizen is without electricity. As for the services of water and sewage, water is needed by humans on a daily basis. The Iraqi citizen is suffering from the lack of water supplies there, but there are people who do not have water supply and have to purchase it or bring it from distant places. Also, even if there is water, you will find that it is not treated for human consumption while the sanitation, although Iraq has had a giant network of sewage since the era of the former President Saddam Hussein, ever since the war in Iraq, it has been damaged because of the absence of its required maintenance. Thus, it has become obsolete and needs maintenance and renewal of some networks to become ready for use. As for the problem of the roads in Iraq, they are suffering from a very bad situation. They are either unpaved or broken, therefore, the citizen faces difficulty and harm. He may come with his own means of transportation that has been damaged and needs excessive maintenance due to the ill-paved roads. In terms of security, you will find that the Iraqi citizen suffers almost daily from terrorist attacks taking place as well as the lack of security, and the security problem has heavily impacted the international trade. In terms of the provision of basic goods, the citizen suffers from their scarcity and the high cost of their prices, and the problems of education that does not keep pace with the development of the world, and the problems of unemployment, which the officials could not find a solution for, and trade, industry and agriculture. Those problems need a quick solution. Where are the officials on all these problems? The government needs to be restructured and every official who cannot perform his duty, it is better for him to leave the stage for somebody who can do it if he cares about the interest of this country; otherwise, the citizen will become the only one to pay the price no matter how long.

  • اسود

    2012-4-18

    Iraq has currently become one of the countries which are experiencing a lot of investment projects, of which many will be carried out as soon as possible. In fact, this is an additional side which is added to our optimism toward the future of Iraq which will witness more stability as time goes by. Indeed, Iraqis will also feel this stability and confidence in their own future and that of their country. Iraq is moving forward whatever the challenges will be and no matter what hardships it will face. Besides, Iraq will witness the ideal future which we, as Iraqis, are longing to achieve. Iraq will be a successful model which the entire world will respect and be impressed by its experience which has been born after labor pains. In fact, I cannot deny that it has been very difficult but, in the end, the birth of the new Iraq has been completed. This country will be stable and will own a bright future, God willing, which will restore Iraq to its natural position among the world and regional countries.

  • سعيد ال ياسين

    2012-4-17

    The Iraqi Government is not suitable to lead the country and work on the reform of the situation. We must not forget that the security situation is still deteriorating and many terrorist operations are carried out and are happening against the innocent Iraqi citizens who have no guilt. Thus, the Iraqi Government should choose one of the two ways either to compensate the Iraqi people for every behavior that include failure, neglect, act with honesty and integrity, and to provide all the requirements of the Iraqi people or leave it to another government working on the comfort of the Iraqi people.

  • حمود الزبيدي

    2012-4-15

    The Iraqi Government should benefit from past experiences. In fact, it should provide the Iraqi people with full humanitarian services. The latter will play a significant role in achieving development and prosperity in the country, especially as Iraq today is liberated economically and politically. At the present time, the Iraqi Government is able to achieve a great deal of security and stability. Therefore, the Government should work to achieve political and economic stability which will lead to the affluence of the Iraqi society. Indeed, the Iraqi people will become even more motivated to rebuild their nation. Economic recovery will have a key role in achieving the stability and prosperity of Iraq in the future because it will lead to the integration of all social needs in the country and provide more possibilities for investment. The latter will help us overcome the challenges of the country. Then, we could manage to get Iraq out of the impasse that plagues it at the present time. This is possible only through real cooperation between the people and the Government. In fact, we need to get away from anything that could disturb the political stability in the country. Such confusion might have a negative impact on the future development of Iraq. Besides, it would play a major role in halting the processes of development and construction that Iraq needs at the present time to remove the ill effects caused by the unstable situation which marred the country. Therefore, we need to further consolidate cooperation and solidarity in order to overcome the effects of the past, build our country and liberate our people from the intellectual and social difficulties that caused the backwardness of present day Iraq.

  • فوزي فهد

    2012-4-15

    I think that administrative and financial corruption is the biggest problem afflicting Iraq. It is the biggest pest that caused all of this decline in the provision of services as the spoilers are deployed in all joints and State institutions. This corruption had significant negative repercussions to the Iraqi citizens who suffer because of corruption and its unprecedented spread. We do not want to criticize our government, but I would like to criticize the regulatory institutions that are not doing their role as required. The government alone, whatever it did, could not eliminate the scourge of corruption in Iraq. Everyone must cooperate with them in order to make the war on corruption and spoilers a success. The issue of corruption and its spread in this way brought Iraq to occupy advanced echelons at the global level in terms of administrative and financial corruption which reflected a black image of Iraq because of the publication of such reports which have severely damaged our country. I believe that the absence of control and its weakness were the reasons of the poor performance in combating corruption, which led to the declining and weakening services as well as the deterioration of the service side demanded by the citizen who looked forward to the elimination of the rampant corruption in the government institutions in order to activate the service side and any matter related to the citizen and his needs.

  • عبير ناظم

    2012-4-15

    I see many defects which have affected the delivery of the general services to the people. Thus, the people's calls increased, as they direct harsh criticism against the governmental institutions which failed in several areas, due to the withdrawal in many sectors, especially the services. It has become one of the sectors that concern the people the most. Also, electricity has been at a standstill for about ten years, without any proper solutions having been found, due to the administrative and financial corruption. I criticize this dereliction in fulfilling the duties of the governmental institutions. Where is the governmental supervision and following up on the administrative and financial corruption, which is the basis of all the problems that we suffer from? These problems have to come to an end with the closures of these issues. The government’s performance is not up to the expected level and ambitions in these areas. We have heard many statements about the achievements, which didn't happen in reality. In fact, we don't see anything tangible that we can talk about. This is the weakness in the government’s performance, represented in institutions and ministries, which I think have failed tremendously in doing their duties.

  • زينب المهداوي

    2012-4-12

    Peace be upon you! I demand that the Iraqi government fix the Basha'ir al-Kheir contracts. We don't want the youth in this government to remain unemployed. I ask the governor, Mr. Hisham Al Habbally, to try seriously to solve this problem. Please, our governor, do it, and thanks. I hope my words reach the governor!

  • كرم

    2012-4-10

    God blessed Iraq with some improvements in security. It must set up plans to save the Iraqi people and lift them out of this bitter reality, which is the main reason behind the unemployment and lack of access to employment opportunities. They are creating new methods to accommodate the huge numbers of unemployed people, bring them into various investment projects and give them advance funding for the establishment of small projects or hire them in government departments, especially since Iraq is among the rich countries which is able to contain the crisis of unemployment, overcome it in the future and take the Iraqis to safety.