In northern Iraq, the Nineveh Provincial Council has voted on different plans and financial arrangements for the rest of 2019.
The budget stipulates that one billion dinars will be allocated to Yazidi female survivors and one billion dinars to treat patients. Other projects are also in the pipeline with the framework of “Article A” of the budget. This article includes 265 projects distributed between ongoing and new projects, petrodollars, and humanitarian cases amounting to 556 billion dinars. A vote on the supplementary “Plan B” will be taken next week in the Nineveh Provincial Council in order to decide on the allocation of finances to the educational sector and administrative institutions.
The approval of the budget has been met with some criticism from those who believe that much more money should be allocated to the reconstruction of infrastructure. Mosul was subject to unprecedented damage during the battles to liberate the city from the hands of ISIS, which had claimed it as the de facto capital of its so-called “Islamic State”.
Some people believe that the money will be usurped and taken by corrupt individuals who will line their pockets instead of using the finances for the benefit of the public.
“If they fear God and respect themselves, then they should distribute the budget to poor people. They should not provide for a person who receives a salary or owns a palace. We hoped they would help us but they robbed us and left us disappointed”, said an old man living in poverty in Mosul.
Nineveh was a particular stronghold for ISIS, considering the importance the terrorist group gave to the capital of the province, Mosul. It is also a province with ethnic and religious diversity, which includes Yazidis, Christians, Shabaks and others. The cases of terror committed against Yazidis, especially Yazidi women, have been well documented and recounted on international platforms. The aid distributed to them thus comes to no surprise. Nevertheless, the lack of progress with regards to the infrastructure of the province remains a heavy burden on the local political authorities and poverty-stricken residents.