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Location: WASSIT Total Visits: 30990

Tracing its origins back to the end of the 7th century AD, Wassit is situated on Iraq’s eastern border with Iran. The governorate is an important trade route for goods being transported to Iran, north to Baghdad or south to Missan along the Tigris River. Clashes between local militias and government forces persisted in the latter half of 2008, but the situation became calmer during 2009.


Wassit has potential for growth and diversity in its agricultural and industrial output. Agriculture has suffered from increased water salinity, low utilisation of modern farming techniques, urban-rural migration and the usage of farmland for military purposes. 38% of all jobs in the governorate are in the agricultural sector, which may be a factor behind the low unemployment rate in rural areas (10%, compared to a 15% national average). However, many of these jobs are unpaid and 17% of rural children aged 5-14 are in employment.


Wassit lags behind in many key aspects of development. 35% of the population lives below the national poverty line. All districts apart from Badra and Al Swaira suffer from high poverty levels. Male and female illiteracy is above the respective national averages of 11% and 24% in all districts. The primary school enrolment rate in urban areas (88%) is in line with the national urban average (89%). However, rural enrolment rates (66%) are well below the national rural average of 77%, and primary school enrolment among rural girls is just 58%. Badra and Al Swaira suffer from lack of water network access, poor sanitation and chronic malnutrition. Wassit’s electricity supplies are reliable compared to the rest of Iraq.


Wassit hosts a large number of post-2006 IDPs, most of which were displaced from neighbouring Baghdad and Diyala. Access to employment opportunities is a priority for 81% of these IDP families, while 71% require food. 89% of IDP families have no income source through employment, while access to the Public Distribution System varies widely according to location. 52% of Wassit’s IDP families intend to integrate into their current location.


Governorate Capital: Kut
Area: 17,153 sq km (3.9% of Iraq)
Population: 1,064,950 (4% of total)
  Source: Gol COSIT (2007)

Gender Distribution: Male: 50% Female: 50%
Geo Distribution: Rural: 48% Urban: 52%
  Source: GoI COSIT (est. for 2007)

Population by district:
  Source: WFP VAM (2007)
Reports & Assessments

Wasit Factbook

An overview of the funds and projects completed Wasit


US Government, May 2005
Download: English, 0.45MB

News in Short

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