Om Hussein is a mother close to breaking point. Along with her husband and their four young children, she is struggling with poverty like millions of other Iraqis.

Her husband, Ali, is unemployed. He is diabetic and has heart problems. She has been the breadwinner for the past nine years, eking out a living as a housemaid. But she is now exhausted, and can no longer work.

“I am tired and we cannot make any money to pay for the rent, medicine, children’s needs and food,” Ms Hussein said at the family’s temporary one bedroom home in eastern Baghdad.

Their dilapidated house collapsed a few months ago, and they have survived thanks to the help of friends and relatives.

Her husband added: “I worked at everything you could think of. As a butcher, a day labourer, a rubbish collector. I would not ask for money, but they would give it to us. I would not ask for food.

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