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9 Labor Force, by Sector, 2012 and 2013

9 Labor Force, by Sector, 2012 and 2013

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88



KRI: Assessing the Economic and Social Impact of the Syrian Conflict and ISIS



Syria, from where people entered KRI seeking assistance and shelter.

These were accommodated at first and were able to adjust and adapt into

the community. KRG was able to provide assistance with support from

UN agencies and others. However, the situation escalated further with

the incoming of the internally displaced population from Iraq in waves as

a result of the ISIS crisis. With this recent crisis, KRG has had major challenges of responding to it, which paralleled a financial shock hitting KRG

in lack of fiscal transfers from the federal government in Baghdad. The

inflow of such a large population of Syrian refugees and Iraqi IDPs would

be highly destabilizing. Destabilization could be felt by the pressure that

IDPs will exert socially on host communities and on services, and most

importantly in the labor market.

MOLSA provides family and disability allowances to enrolled households (HHs). The major obstacle is the absence of fiscal transfers from

Baghdad, causing considerable delays in settling the allowances of those

in need. It is expected that by end of 2014 the number of beneficiaries

from family allowances reached 90,124 HHs, requiring a total of $130

million, and the number of allowances needed for disability would reach

99,302 HHs, requiring $143 million.

It is estimated that 95 percent of refugees in camps reported being able

to afford the cost of meeting their basic needs as opposed to 70 percent

outside camps.15 That is why the Syrian inflow was well absorbed by the

authorities, who offered all the needed assistance in light of the availability of funds, which is not the case now. As with illegal labor from Iraq and

Turkey, many Syrian refugees brought skills to the KRI that are in demand

from local employers, and they are also more willing than the local population to work for lower wages. The situation is expected to be different

with IDPs arriving with a depletion of social capital. IDPs will be dependent on transfers, assistance, and informal employment arrangements,

which might cause strain among the local population.

Reports tell of widespread unemployment. In July and August 2014,

foreign firms evacuated foreign labor because of the prevailing security

environment. Wages are expected to decline as more IDPs and refugees

are entering the labor market. Monitoring the situation remains of great

importance to be able to reflect any change in the supply and demand of

labor as more IDPs will start seeking livelihoods if the security situation

does not improve. The direct impact would lead to an increase in the

number of households in need of social safety net assistance.

The fiscal impact will be further compounded as KRG moves to implement the Federal Social Protection Law, enacted in early 2014. On the

basis of the poverty impact assessment contained in this report, which

estimates that poverty rates will double from 3.5 percent to 8.1 percent,



89



Social Development Impact of the Conflict



TABLE 2.21

Fiscal Impact, 2015

Number of

Households



KRG Policies

(dollars, millions)



Federal Law

(dollars, millions)



Baseline scenario

Current spending

Impact of crisis

Total



189,426

116,965

306,391



273

83

356



764

231

995



Low case scenario

Current spending

Impact of crisis

Total



189,426

150,895

340,321



273

106

379



764

296

1,060



High case scenario

Current spending

Impact of crisis

Total



189,426

190,898

380,324



273

134

407



764

376

1,140



the fiscal impact on the cash transfer social safety net will be substantial.

Two scenarios are presented below, to include stabilization at the existing

household transfer amount of ID 150,000/month (KRG policies) as well

as the average household transfer amount of ID 420,000/month proposed in the Federal Social Protection Law of Iraq. Table 2.21 presents the

baseline, the low case, and the high case scenarios for 2015.



Stabilization Needs

Over the short term, livelihood strategies can provide income and reduce

tension between IDPs, refugees, and the host community. KRI has many

vulnerable households as a result of multiple crises. Community development projects could be initiated where the host community would feel

the impact of the project, and IDPs could benefit from cash for work.

Projects could be designed to target future needed projects that fall within

the national plans of the various sectors. As for the labor aspects, active

labor programs are needed to absorb a larger number of workers.

The federal government had begun the implementation of a new

social protection law. The cost for the federal government of Iraq is

estimated to reach $288 million for a population of 200,000 HHs at

approximately $120 monthly. The new social protection law stipulated

an increase in the social allowance to reach, on average, ID 420,000 per

HH monthly (table 2.22).



90



KRI: Assessing the Economic and Social Impact of the Syrian Conflict and ISIS



TABLE 2.22

Stabilization Assessment, 2015

dollars, millions

Stabilization Cost (allowance at

ID 150,000)

Dollars

(millions)



Baselinea



Low scenariob



High scenarioc



Stabilization Cost (allowance at

ID 420,000)



Total dollars

(millions)



Dollars

(millions)



Host community



273



Syrian refugees



25



IDPs



58



162



Host community



273



764



Syrian refugees



28



IDPs



78



217



Host community



273



764



Syrian refugees



37



IDPs



97



Total dollars

(millions)



764

356



379



407



69



79



103



995



1,060



1,140



273



Note: IDPs = internally displaced persons.

a. Status quo—the current population of Syrian refugees and IDPs remains unchanged.

b. Additional influx of 30,000 Syrian refugees and 250,000 Iraqi IDPs.

c. Additional influx of 100,000 Syrian refugees and 500,000 Iraqi IDPs.



Housing and Shelter

Adequate shelter needs to be provided immediately to more than 243,000

vulnerable IDPs. Providing adequate shelter for such a large population

has proven an immense challenge for both KRG and the international

humanitarian community. The government has built 26 IDP camps across

the three governorates of KRI with a total combined capacity for hosting

223,790 IDPs. KRG has committed to funding three of these 26 camps,

and the international community is expected to fund 20 camps. The

remaining three camps remain unfunded (SEINA-UNDP 2012a, b; United

Nations and KRG Ministry of Planning 2014a, b).

The stabilization costs for sheltering IDPs are estimated at $111.3 million.16

The stabilization cost comprises the cost of establishing three unfunded

camps. Under alternative scenarios, which assume a greater influx of refugees and IDPs in 2015, these estimates would rise to $194.6 million under

the low scenario and $277.9 million under the high scenario.17



Social Development Impact of the Conflict



Significant resources will also be needed to expand the camp capacity

for the Syrian population should the conflict in Syria force more individuals to seek refuge in KRI. Under the low population scenario, which

supposes an additional influx of 30,000 Syrian refugees in 2015, and

assuming that 40 percent of the population will need to be sheltered in

camps, the cost would amount to $10 million. Under the high population

scenario, which supposes an additional influx of 100,000 Syrian refugees

in 2015 and assuming the same share of population living in camps, the

cost would climb to $33 million.

An adverse impact is also associated with 60 percent of the displaced

families living in host communities, which is exerting upward pressure

on rents and increasing the vulnerability of poor households. An estimated 25,000 IDP households and another 15,000 Syrian families are

currently renting accommodations.



Precrisis Situation

With an annual housing demand of almost 60,000 and little provision of

affordable housing for low-income households, the housing market in

KRI was already under pressure before the IDP and refugee inflow. An

estimated 845,000 Kurdish Iraqi HHS were put forward in 2012,18

a  number that according to the KRSO is expected to grow by 4 percent

per year. On the basis of these numbers, KRG and UNHABITAT have

estimated that the annual housing requirement to accommodate this

population growth is 30,390 units across all income levels. In addition,

another 25 percent of existing households will require new or improved

housing to replace inadequate or overcrowded housing. This equates to

228,000 housing units across all income levels for the next 10 years.

Annual housing demand is therefore 53,239 units.

Annual demand for government supported housing is 5,324 units.

According to one government study, about 10 percent of households are

estimated to have limited incomes to the extent of not being able to meet

their housing needs without government support. Limited-income families inhabit approximately 113,170 of existing housing units, and the

annual demand for social housing would accordingly be 5,324 units.



Impact of the Crisis

Providing shelter for the most vulnerable displaced families is an urgent

concern. The UN seeks to provide winterization kits to vulnerable IDP

families. Figure 2.10 presents shelter trends for IDP families between

June and September 2014.



91



KRI: Assessing the Economic and Social Impact of the Syrian Conflict and ISIS



FIGURE 2.10

Shelter Trends for IDPs in KRI, June 25, 2014, to September 28, 2014

35,000

30,000

Number of families



25,000

20,000

15,000

10,000

5,000



4

p



28



,2



01



4

01

Se



14

p

Se



1,

Se



p



24

g

Au



Rented Houses

With Relatives



,2



20



01

,2



,2

11

g



14



4



4

01



14

20



Camp

Abandoned

/Public Buildings

Informal

Settlements



Au



1,

l3

Ju



n



Ju



l2



25



,2



,2



01



01



4



4



0



Ju



92



School Buildings

Religious Buildings



Hotels/Motels



Source: IOM 2014.



More than half of the Syrian refugee population is currently residing

outside of camps in host communities. Of these, the large majority

(70 percent) live in independent houses or apartments, and a quarter of

the total share primarily with other Syrian families. A recent study found

that the majority of households found their accommodations to be adequate, although less so in Dohuk than in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.

A substantial number of those reporting inadequate conditions resided in

incomplete, dilapidated, and/or poorly constructed buildings or structures. The survey also found that the Syrian population in rented accommodations is finding it increasingly difficult to afford their rent, and rental

support was relayed as the most important need for 43 percent of respondents, and among the top three for 68 percent of respondents.

The large number of displaced people settling in rental accommodations

will result in rent hikes. Going forward, rents are also expected to rise faster

than the overall consumer price index, especially in Dohuk. The additional

inflow of 40,000 families currently looking for accommodations will push

rent prices upward. The increase in demand for rental accommodations

would disproportionately affect the poor in the host community. A large

part of the displaced would be competing for accommodations affordable



93



Social Development Impact of the Conflict



to the 10 percent of the KRI population that is estimated to be in the low

to very low income bracket. Using existing poverty levels for Iraqis and

Syrians as an indicator for the proportion that would target the lower cost

options, the low-income resident households would have to compete with

an additional 25,000, 30,000 or 38,000 families, equivalent to a 21, 27, and

33 percent increase, respectively, from the existing low-income resident

numbers depending on the inflow scenario (figure 2.11).

Home ownership may mitigate the impact of rent hikes on the host

community. Only 13 percent of the KRI population rent their accommodations (and only 10 percent in Dohuk compared with 17 percent

and 12 percent in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, respectively). Although disaggregated data on the share of individuals living in rental accommodations across income quintiles are not available, it would be reasonable to

assume that vulnerable groups—such as the poor or female-headed

households, which made up 11.6 percent of households in 2012—are

the ones relying on rental accommodations and benefiting from the

mitigation on rent hikes from the large proportion of homeowners.



FIGURE 2.11

CPI Indicators for Rent and General Prices, January 2012 to January 2015

200

190

180

170

160

150

140

130

120

110



Ja



nM 12

ar

M 12

ay

Ju 12

l-1

Se 2

pNo 12

vJa 12

nM 13

ar

M 13

ay

Ju 13

l-1

Se 3

pNo 13

vJa 13

nM 14

ar

M 14

ay

Ju 14

l-1

Se 4

pNo 14

vJa 14

n15



100



Dohuk Rent

Slemani Rent

Erbil General Price Index



Source: KRSO.



Erbil Rent

Dohuk General Price Index

Slemani General Price Index



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