Despite oil wealth, poverty fuels despair in south Iraq - in pictures

The oil flows freely but many struggle to make ends meet

A man stands on the roof of his house in the vicinity of the Nahr Bin Omar oilfield in Iraq's southern province of Basra.

Children play across flare stacks burning off excess gas in Iraq's southern province of Basra. Basra Province produces about 70 per cent of crude oil in Iraq.

People sit across the Mohammed Baqir Al Sadr bridge on the shores of Shatt Al Arab waterway, where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers meet. Basra is the second biggest oil exporter in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia.

Basra is still seeking to recover from years of war and turmoil since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.

A worker fixes the roof of a house in the vicinity of the Nahr Bin Omar in Basra. From patchy supplies of water and electricity, to pockmarked roads and toxic pollution caused by extracting hydrocarbons, Basra and its four million inhabitants are struggling.

Dorgham Al Ajwadi, deputy governor of Basra, is interviewed by AFP at his office in Basra. Some investments have been made in the area, such as a new stadium under construction ahead of the Gulf Cup football tournament due to be held in the city in January 2023, but local residents feel more needs to be done.

Updated: November 22nd 2021, 7:58 AM