Shafaq News / The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Iraq announced, on Thursday, a very low rate of production and sales of small and medium enterprises in Iraq due to Corona epidemic.
“On 13th of May 2020, it was reported on 3,032 confirmed cases of Corona (Covid-19) and 115 deaths in Iraq," explaining that "the measures taken by the Iraqi government have limited the spread of the epidemic (including imposing curfews, closing schools, preventing travelers from entering the country and traveling between governorates) and reducing working hours or closing several small projects, IOM report reported to Shafaq News Agency stated.
"Although the government has begun to ease these restrictions and measures in certain areas, the economic impact of the epidemic is expected to be severe”.
"IOM in Iraq conducted a survey aimed at analyzing the impact of the epidemic on small and medium enterprises, and the study focused on urban areas and governorates with high rates of displacement."
The report pointed out that IOM team had contacted the owners of 456 small and medium-sized projects, among the areas in which the Enterprises Developing Fund (EDF) is active, "noting that" the study showed a 52% decrease in production during the past month between the small and medium-sized enterprises that were included in the study, which will lead due to a net loss in revenue, estimated at 27% if these restrictions continue until June 2020. ”
Sales were also affected last month, according to the report, "intensity for commercial projects that fall within the four sectors included in the study: construction and industry; food and agriculture; services; wholesale and retail, as estimates indicated that sales fell by 71%."
The owners of small and medium enterprises believe that "financial support (62%) and the lifting of the curfew (16) are the most important measures they need to help them stay while the movement restrictions remain."
The epidemic also severely affected projects ’ability to retain their workforce. Business and project owners reduced workers’ wages by 40% on average, reducing salaries and wages by 36%. In addition to salaries and wages, fare and electricity costs are the most common ongoing costs in business across all sectors. "
The report quoted Jerard White, head of the International Organization for Migration in Iraq, as saying, "The work of the International Organization for Migration and the international community to support the economic recovery and job creation in Iraq is of critical importance now, and while the needs of recovery from the conflict remain high, Corona epidemic ( Covid-19) has caused exacerbated weaknesses, and increased the challenges faced by Iraqi business and entrepreneurs. "
He added, "This assessment would be the basis for the IOM's continued and broad participation in this sector, as part of its efforts to support migrants, displaced people, host communities and other vulnerable populations.