Iraq, at present, is facing a human capital crisis, despite having been one of the early investors in health and education, in the MENA region, in the 70s and 80s. The World Bank’s Human Capital Index (HCI), shows that a child born in Iraq, today, will reach, on average, only 41 percent of her potential productivity when she grows up, compared to the 57- percent average of the MENA region. The HCI measures the amount of human capital that a child, born today, can expect to attain at the age of 18, thereby conveying the productivity of the next generation of a country’s workforce—a key contributor to economic growth. Iraq’s HCI is among the lowest in the world, and is lower than that of any country in the MENA region, with the exception of Yemen. In addition, large disparities in human capital outcomes persist between regions, and between urban and rural areas, to the disadvantage of northern governorates most affected by the conflicts. Women, Internally Displaced People (IDP), and families with very low incomes, are further disadvantaged.
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