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Welfare Funding Runs Out in Iraq - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s parliament speaker says the oil-rich nation has run out of money to pay for widows’ benefits, farm crops and other programs for the poor.

Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi told lawmakers Sunday that parliament would push the Iraqi government for answers on where the money has gone.

Irritated lawmakers demanded answers. Parliament members have each collected more than $100,000 so far this year in salaries and stipends, though they have only met four times since March amid the deadlock over forming a new government.

A Finance Ministry official said the estimated $1 billion social care budget has been emptied for 2010. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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