Thursday, January 26, 2012

Iraq In The Middle East And North Africa, A Regional Comparison


From 1990 to 2003, Iraq was under United Nations sanctions for its invasion of Kuwait. As a result, the country’s living standards and infrastructure all deteriorated as it was cut off from many trade goods, and was still suffering the affects of the 1991 Gulf War. It has been almost nine years since those restrictions were lifted. Despite its constant political disputes and the sectarian civil war that lasted from 2005-2008, Iraq is finally beginning to show some signs of recovery. Now seems as good as time as any to see how it is doing in comparison to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Iraq finds itself with an incredibly young and growing population, but with persistent health issues, and an oil dependent economy that needs to be diversified if it hopes to provide jobs and income for its people.

Out of the 17 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Iraq has the fifth largest population at approximately 30,399,572 in 2011. Only Morocco, Algeria, Iran, and Egypt have more people. Having a large population in the region is both a cost and a potential benefit. It can provide a large workforce, but at the same time huge demands upon the government to provide services and jobs for them.
 
Population 2011
Egypt 82,079,636
Iran 77,891,220
Algeria 34,994,937
Morocco 31,968,361
Iraq 30,399,572
Saudi Arabia 26,131,703
Yemen 24,133,492
Syria 22,517,750 (2010)
Tunisia 10,629,186
Israel 7,473,052 (2010)
Libya 6,597,960
Jordan 6,508,271
UAE 5,148,664
Oman 3,027,959
Kuwait 2,595,628
Bahrain 1,214,705
Qatar 848,016

Iraq’s large populace is incredibly young, and getting younger. It has the second youngest median age in the region at 20.9 years old. Only Yemen at 18.1 has a lower median figure. Incredibly, the country is getting younger, with 38% of Iraqis only 14 years or under, a 2.399% population growth rate, the fourth highest in the region, and 28.81 births per 1,000 people, which is the second highest. This is a trend in much of the Middle East and North Africa with 13 out of 17 countries having a median age under 30.


Median Age 2011
Yemen 18.1
Iraq 20.9
Syria 21.9
Jordan 22.1
Oman 24.1
Egypt 24.3
Libya 24.5
Saudi Arabia 25.3
Iran 26.8
Morocco 26.9
Algeria 27.6
Kuwait 28.5
Israel 29.4
Tunisia 30
UAE 30.2
Qatar 30.8
Bahrain 30.9


2011
Age Structure
Yemen
0-14 43%
15-64 54.4%
65+ 2.6%
Iraq
0-14 38%
15-64 58.9%
65+ 3.1%
Jordan
0-14 35.3%
15-64 59.9%
65_ 4.8%
Syria
0-14 35.2%
15-64 61%
65_ 3.8%
Libya
0-14 32.8%
15-64 62.7%
65+ 4.6%
Egypt
0-14 32.7%
15-64 62.8%
65+ 4.5%
Oman
0-14 31.2%
15-64 65.7%
65+ 3.1%
Saudi Arabia
0-14 29.4%
15-64 67.6%
65+ 3%
Morocco
0-14 27.8%
15-64 66.1%
65+ 6.1%
Israel
0-14 27.6%
15-64 62.2%
65+ 10.1%
Kuwait
0-14 25.8%
15-64 72.2%
65+ 2%
Algeria
0-14 24.2%
15-64 70.6%
65+ 5.2%
Iran
0-14 24.1%
15-64 70.9%
65+ 5%
Tunisia
0-14 23.2%
15-64 69.3%
65+ 7.5%
Qatar
0-14 21.8%
15-64 76.7%
65+ 1.5%
Bahrain
0-14 20.5%
15-64 77%
65+ 2.6%
UAE
0-14 20.4%
15-64 78.7%
65+ 0.9%




Pop. Growth Rate
Qatar
0.81%
Syria
0.913%
Tunisia
0.978%
Jordan
0.984%
Morocco
1.067%
Algeria
1.173%
Iran
1.248%
Saudi Arabia
1.536%
Israel
1.584%
Egypt
1.96%
Kuwait
1.986%
Oman
2.023%
Libya
2.064%
Iraq
2.399%
Yemen
2.647%
Bahrain
2.814%
UAE
3.282%


 2011
Birth Rate
Bahrain
14.64 per 1,000
Qatar
15.48 per 1,000
UAE
15.87 per 1,000
Algeria
16.69 per 1,000
Tunisia
17.4 per 1,000
Iran
18.55 per 1,000
Morocco
19.19 per 1,000
Israel
19.24 per 1,000
Saudi Arabia
19.34 per 1,000
Kuwait
21.32 per 1,000
Syria
23.99 per 1,000
Libya
24.04 per 1,000
Oman
24.15 per 1,000
Egypt
24.63 per 1,000
Jordan
26.79 per 1,000
Iraq
28.81 per 1,000
Yemen
33.49 per 1,000

Iraq is towards the bottom in terms of urbanization at 66%. That is tied with Algeria for 12 out of the 17 regional nations. In comparison, most of the people in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Israel are anywhere from 82%-98% living in cities. With two famous rivers the Tigris and Euphrates running through it, and a history of agriculture dating back to the birth of civilization it should be no surprise that Iraq still has lots of people living in the countryside. Unfortunately, that lifestyle is running into huge environmental problems with a recent drought lasting several years, increasing salinization, and neighboring countries building dams that will only decrease the amount of water flowing through the country in coming years.
 

Urbanization
Yemen
32%
Egypt
43.4%
Syria
56%
Morocco
58%
Iraq
66%
Algeria
66%
Tunisia
67%
Iran
71%
Oman
73%
Libya
78%
Jordan
79%
Saudi Arabia
82%
UAE
84%
Bahrain
89%
Israel
92%
Qatar
96%
Kuwait
98%

One major problem that resulted from the international sanctions was the destruction of Iraq’s health care system. Many medicines and modern equipment were denied to the country under the guise that they could be used for the creation of weapons of mass destruction. It is just beginning to emerge from this period with the free flow of trade, and is trying to make up for those lost years. As a sign of that, it spends the highest percentage of its GDP, 9.7%, of any country in the Middle East and North Africa on health.


Health Expenditures
Syria
2.9% of GDP (2009)
Iran
3.9% of GDP (2009)
Qatar
2.5% of GDP
UAE
2.8% of GDP
Oman
3% of GDP
Bahrain
4.5% of GDP
Jordan
4.5% of GDP (2009)
Saudi Arabia
5% of GDP (2009)
Morocco
5.5% of GDP
Yemen
5.6% of GDP
Algeria
5.8% of GDP (2009)
Tunisia
6.2% of GDP
Egypt
6.4% of GDP  (2009)
Libya
6.6% of GDP (2009)
Kuwait
6.8% of GDP (2009)
Israel
9.5% of GDP  (2009)
Iraq
9.7% of GDP (2009)

The affects of the 1990s are still visible. Iraq ranks fifth worst in terms of maternal mortality rate with 75 deaths per 100,000 live births. Only Egypt, 83 deaths, Morocco, 110 deaths, Algeria, 120 deaths, and Yemen at a whopping 210 deaths, did worse. In contrast, only 10 mothers die on average per 100,000 births in the United Arab Emirates, only 8 in Qatar, and 7 in Israel.


Maternal Mortality Rates
Kuwait
NA
Israel
7 deaths per 100,000 live births
Qatar
8 deaths per 100,000 live births
UAE
10 death per 100,000 live births
Bahrain
19 death per 100,000 per live births
Oman
20 deaths per 100,000 live births
Saudi Arabia
24 deaths per 100,000 live births
Iran
30 deaths per 100,000 live births
Syria
46 deaths per 100,000 live births
Jordan
59 deaths per 100,000 live births
Tunisia
60 deaths per 1,000 live births
Libya
64 deaths per 100,000 live births
Iraq
75 deaths per 100,000 live births
(2008)
Egypt
82 deaths per 100,000 live births
Morocco
110death per 100,000 live births (2008)
Algeria
120 deaths per 100,000 live births (2008)
Yemen
210 deaths per 100,000 live births
Iraq didn’t do much better with its infant mortality rate. It has the third worse rate at 41.68 deaths per 1,000 live births. Iran with 42.26 deaths and Yemen at 55.11 were at the bottom of the region. Again, these are both signs that Iraq still has a long way to go to repair its health care system.



Infant Mortality Rate
Israel
4.12 deaths per 1,000 births
Kuwait
8.07 deaths per 1,000 live births
Bahrain
10.43 deaths per 1,000 live births
UAE
11.94 deaths per 1,000 live births
Qatar
12.05 death per 1,000 live births
Oman
15.47 deaths per 1,000 live births
Syria
15.62 deaths per 1,000 live births
Saudi Arabia
16.16 deaths per 1,000 live births
Jordan
16.42 deaths per 1,000 live births
Libya
20.09 deaths per 1,000 live births
Egypt
25.2 deaths per 1,000 live births
Algeria
25.82 deaths per 1,000 live births
Tunisia
25.92 deaths per 1,000 live births
Morocco
27.53 deaths per 1,000 live births
Iraq
41.68 death per 1,000 live births
Iran
42.26 deaths per 1,000 live births
Yemen
55.11 deaths per 1,000 live births

A third sign of its problems is Iraq’s low life expectancy. Iraqis live an average 70.55 years. That was the third lowest in the region. Yemen, 63.74, and Iran 70.06 had the shortest average life spans, while Bahrain, 78.15, Jordan, 80.05, and Israel, 80.96, had the highest. That showed that while Iraq has many children, they will on average, not live as long as many of their neighbors. The civil conflict and sanctions were two major factors that put Iraq towards the bottom in this category.

2011
Life Expectancy
Yemen
63.74
Iran
70.06
Iraq
70.55
Egypt
72.66
Saudi Arabia
74.11
Oman
74.22
Algeria
74.5
Syria
74.69
Tunisia
75.01
Qatar
75.7
Morocco
75.9
UAE
76.51
Libya
77.065
Kuwait
77.09
Bahrain
78.15
Jordan
80.05
Israel
80.96

Serviceable water and sanitation facilities can have a huge impact upon a country’s health as they help control the spread of diseases and sickness. Again, Iraq is almost at the bottom in both of these categories. Only 79% of Iraqis drink from an improved drinking source, which was third worse in the region, and only 73% used improved sanitation facilities, second worse. Improving major infrastructure such as pipes, and building waste water plants have been difficult for Iraq. The fighting in the country made such large projects almost impossible to complete such as the Waste Water Treatment Plant in Fallujah. Now that the civil war is over, red tape, the lack of capacity, and budget execution by the government still hinders such work. That means Iraq will likely remain lacking in these services for the foreseeable future.


Drinking Water Source
Bahrain
NA
Libya
54% improved, 46% unimproved
Yemen
62% improved
38% unimproved
Iraq
79% improved
21% unimproved
Morocco
81% improved
19% unimproved
Algeria
83% improved
17% unimproved
Oman
88% improved
12% unimproved
Syria
89% improved, 11% unimproved
Saudi Arabia
89% improved
11% unimproved
Iran
93% improved
7% unimproved
Tunisia
94% improved
6% unimproved
Jordan
96% improved
4% unimproved
Egypt
99% improved,
1% unimproved
Kuwait
99% improved
1% unimproved
Israel
100% improved
Qatar
100% improved
UAE
100% improved


Sanitation Facility Access
Saudi Arabia
N/A
Yemen
52% improved
48% unimproved
Iraq
73% improved
27% unimproved
Morocco
69% improved
31% unimproved
Iran
83% improved
17% unimproved
Tunisia
85% improved
15% unimproved
Oman
87% improved
13% unimproved
Egypt
94% improved
6% unimproved
Algeria
95% improved
5% unimproved
Syria
96% improved
4% unimproved
Libya
97% improved
3% unimproved
UAE
97% improved
3% unimproved
Jordan
98% improved
2% unimproved
Israel
100% improved
Kuwait
100% improved
Bahrain
100% improved
Qatar
100% improved

A more recent casualty in Iraq was the school system. During the chaos that was unleashed by the fall of Saddam, it was unsafe for many children to get an education. Kids were routinely kidnapped and ransomed by gangs and militants to raise money. As a result, a whole generation of Iraqis might have missed out on their formative years to build up their skills. As a result, Iraq has a poor literacy rate of 74.1%, fifth lowest in the region.


Literacy
Yemen
50.2%
Morocco
52.3%
Algeria
69.9%
Egypt
71.4%
Iraq
74.1%
Tunisia
74.3%
Iran
77%
UAE
77.9%
Saudi Arabia
78.8%
Syria
79.6%
Oman
81.4%
Libya
82.6%
Bahrain
86.5%
Qatar
89%
Jordan
89.9%
Kuwait
93.3%
Israel
97.1%

One thing that has finally begun to recover since 2003 is the Iraqi economy. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Purchasing Power Parity is a way to compare costs across different countries. From 2003-2008 Iraq’s economy declined, because the violence disrupted businesses and work. Since then, things have begun to get better. Today Iraq has a GDP Purchasing Power Parity figure of $113.4 billion in 2010, which places it right in the middle of the region. It is doing better than Syria, Tunisia, Libya, Oman, Yemen, Jordan, and Bahrain in that category.


2010
GDP
Purchasing
Power
Parity
Bahrain
$29.71 bil
Jordan
$34.53 bil
Yemen
$63.4 bil
Oman
$75.84 bil
Libya
$90.57 bil
Tunisia
$100 bil
Syria
$107.4 bil
Iraq
$113.4 bil
Kuwait
$136.5 bil
Qatar
$150.6 bil
Morocco
$151.4 bil
Israel
$219.4 bil
UAE
$246.8 bil
Algeria
$251.1 bil
Egypt
$497.8 bil
Saudi Arabia
$622 bil
Iran
$818.7 bil

Its overall GDP was estimated at $82.15 billion in 2010, again placing it right in the middle of the Middle East and North Africa. Much of the growth in its economy is due to its oil industry, which has finally returned to pre-invasion levels.


2010
GDP
Bahrain
$22.66 bil
Jordan
$27.53 bil
Yemen
$31.27 bil
Tunisia
$44.29 bil
Oman
$55.62 bil
Syria
$59.33 bil
Libya
$74.23 bil
Iraq
$82.15 bil
Morocco
$103.5 bil
Qatar
129.5 bil
Kuwait
$131.3 bil
Algeria
$160.3 bil
Israel
$213.1 bil
Egypt
$218.5 bil
UAE
$301.9 bil
Iran
$357.2 bil
Saudi Arabia
$443.7 bil

According to the Central Intelligence Agency, Iraq had a anemic 0.8% GDP growth rate in 2010. That was because of the lingering affects of the world recession. Since then, Iraq is expected to have one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The IMF for example, predicted that the GDP would grow 12.2% in 2011. Again, this is because Baghdad has signed deals with foreign companies to develop its oil industry, which drives the entire country.
 
2010
GDP
Growth
Rate
Iraq
0.8%
Iran
1%
Kuwait
2%
Jordan
3.1%
Morocco
3.2%
UAE
3.2%
Syria
3.2%
Algeria
3.3%
Tunisia
3.7%
Libya
4.2%
Oman
4.2%
Israel
4.6%
Egypt
5.1%
Saudi Arabia
3.7%
Bahrain
4.1%
Yemen
8%
Qatar
16.3%

The dominance of petroleum is shown by what contributes to Iraq’s GDP. 60.5% comes from industry, 58% of which is oil. Another 9.7% comes from agriculture, which is still one of the largest employers in Iraq. Finally services, contribute 29.8%. Similar trends are apparent in other major oil producing countries from the region.
 

2011
GDP
By Sector
Iraq
Agriculture 9.7%
Industry 60.5%
Services 29.8%
(2010)
Algeria
Agriculture 8.3%
Industry 61.6%
Services 30.1%
(2010)
Bahrain
Agriculture 0.5%
Industry 58%
Services 41.5%
Egypt
Agriculture 14%
Industry 35.7%
Services 48.3%
Iran
Agriculture 10.9%
Industry 41.2%
Services 47.9%
(2010)
Israel
Agriculture 2.4%
Industry 32.6%
Services 65%
(2010)
Jordan
Agriculture 4.4%
Industry 30.3%
Services 65.3%
Kuwait
Agriculture 0.3%
Industry 48%
Services 51.7%
Libya
Agriculture 2.7%
Industry 66.7%
Services 30.5%
Morocco
Agriculture 17.1%
Industry 31.6%
Services 51.4%
Oman
Agriculture 1.6%
Industry 51%
Services 47.5%
(2010)
Qatar
Agriculture 0.1%
Industry 71.8%
Services 28.1%
(2010)
Saudi Arabia
Agriculture 2.6%
Industry 61.8%
Services 35.6%
Syria
Agriculture 17.1%
Industry 27.3%
Services 55.7%
Tunisia
Agriculture 10.6%
Industry 34.6%
Services 54.8%
(2010)
UAE
Agriculture 0.9%
Industry 55.5%
Services 43.6%
Yemen
Agriculture 8.3%
Industry 38.5%
Services 53.3%

Because Iraq has such a large population it has a large work force. There are approximately 8.5 million laborers in Iraq, the fifth most in the region. Only Algeria, 10.81 million, Morocco, 11.44 million, Iran, 25.7 million, and Egypt, 26.2 million, have more people at work. Because of its high population growth rate, it is adding hundreds of thousands of new workers to the economy each year as well, placing huge strains on the economy to find gainful employment for them.



Labor Force
Bahrain
654,900
Oman
968,800
Qatar
1.242 mil
Jordan
1.719 mil
Libya
1.728 mil
Kuwait
2.158 mil
Israel
3.147 mil
UAE
3.705 mil
Tunisia
3.769 mil
Syria
5.529 mil
Yemen
6.823 mil
Saudi Arabia
7.337 mil
Iraq
8.5 mil
Algeria
10.81 mil
Morocco
11.44 mil
Iran
25.7 mil
Egypt
26.2 mil

The problems with having an oil dependent country are shown in what fields people work in. In 2008, services were the largest employer at 59.8%, but that sector only contributes 29.8% of the GDP. 21.6% also work in agriculture, which is less than 10% of GDP. 18.7% work in industry, which would seem to point out that a large number of people find work in the petroleum and related businesses, but that would be untrue. That only employs 1% of workers, and almost 58% of the GDP. Most of the country’s industrial workers are at state-run businesses, which specialize in useless employees who are simply given jobs to keep people off the streets, or for political patronage. Again, this is a common problem amongst many of the oil dependent countries in the region.


Labor Force by Occupation
Iraq
Agriculture 21.6%
Industry 18.7%
Services 59.8%
(2008)
Algeria
Agriculture 14%
Industry 13.4%
Construction 10%
Trade 14.6%
Government 32%
(2003)
Bahrain
Agriculture 1%
Industry 79%
Services 20%
(1997)
Egypt
Agriculture 32%
Industry 17%
Services 51%
(2001)
Iran
Agriculture 25%
Industry 31%
Services 45%
(2007)
Israel
Agriculture 2%
Industry 16%
Services 82%
(2008)
Jordan
Agriculture 2.7%
Industry 20%
Services 77.4%
(2007)
Kuwait
NA
Libya
Agriculture 17%
Industry 23%
Services 59%
(2004)
Morocco
Agriculture 44.6%
Industry 19.8%
Services 35.5%
(2006)
Oman
NA
Qatar
NA
Saudi Arabia
Agriculture 6.7%
Industry 21.4%
Services 71.9%
Syria
Agriculture 17%
Industry 16%
Services 67%
(2008)
Tunisia
Agriculture 18.3%
Industry 31.9%
Services 49.8%
UAE
Agriculture 7%
Industry 15%
Services 78%
(2000)
Yemen
NA

That also has an affect upon people finding work. In 2009, Iraq had a 15.3% jobless rate. Recently, a survey done by the Iraqi government and United Nations found that the jobless rate had gone down to 11% in 2011, but unofficially the rate is at 30%. Underemployment is even higher. That places Iraq towards the bottom in finding jobs for people, with only Libya and Yemen doing worse. Obviously, with the largest business in Iraq, providing hardly any work opportunities causes tremendous strains upon the country. Until it diversifies its economy, this will continue. Instead of trying to find new industries however, Baghdad has just attempted to create more public sector work, which does not solve anything, because many of these positions are useless, and only adds to underemployment.


Unemployment
Qatar
0.5% (2010)
Kuwait
2.2% (2004)
UAE
2.4% (2001)
Israel
6.7% (2010)
Syria
8.3% (2010)
Egypt
9% (2010)
Morocco
9.1% (2010)
Algeria
10% (2010)
Saudi Arabia
10.8% (2010)
Jordan
12.5% (2010)
Tunisia
13% (2010)
Iran
13.2% (2010)
Oman
15% (2004)
Bahrain
15% (2005)
Iraq
15.3% (2009)
Libya
30% (2004)
Yemen
35% (2003)

Along with high unemployment, Iraq also suffers from high rates of poverty. In 2008, 25% of the population was below the poverty line, which is just $2 per day. That is the third worse rate out of the figures available in the region. Poverty is said to be shallow in Iraq however, which means a small increase in income would raise a large number of people up out of the bottom. (1) Again, a major problem in the government’s anti-poverty programs is reliance upon public sector jobs. Better solutions have been proposed by government agencies, but Iraq has a bad rate of implementing its development plans, while making more government positions is much easier.


Pop. Below poverty level
Tunisia
3.8% (2005)
Syria
11.9% (2006)
Jordan
14.2% (2002)
Morocco
15% (2007)
Iran
18% (2007)
UAE
19.5% (2003)
Egypt
20% (2005)
Algeria
23% (2006)
Israel
23.6% (2007)
Iraq
25% (2008)
Libya
Approx. 33%
Yemen
45.2%
Bahrain
NA
Kuwait
NA
Oman
NA
Qatar
NA
Saudi Arabia
NA

An economic issue that has recently improved for Iraq is inflation. The insurgency and civil war shot up prices in the country. It has only just recovered from this, and inflation stood at a modest 2.4% in 2010.

2010
Inflation Rate
Qatar
-2.4%
UAE
0.9%
Morocco
1%
Bahrain
2%
Iraq
2.4%
Libya
2.5%
Israel
2.7%
Oman
3.2%
Algeria
3.9%
Kuwait
4%
Tunisia
4.4%
Syria
4.4%
Jordan
5%
Saudi Arabia
5.4%
Iran
10.1%
Egypt
11.1%
Yemen
11.2%

Electricity is another service that has suffered since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. During the 1991 Gulf War, the Coalition bombed the power network to try to undermine Saddam. This was partially rebuilt afterward. Then after the 2003 American invasion, the power grid became a target of insurgents. Despite that, electricity output has steadily increased. The problem is that so has consumption, which has taken off at an even higher rate. That’s because Iraqis have been able to buy a wide variety of consumer goods since 2003 that were once denied them under sanctions such as refrigerators and air conditioners. Most Iraqis also do not pay electricity bills, so there is no control over usage. Together this means that Iraq does not produce enough power to meet demand, which leads to a reliance upon private generators. There are also constant blackouts through much of the country. It was no surprise then when electricity became a major cause of protests in Iraq in 2010 and 2011. The government’s plans to build new power plants to finally fix this problem have largely failed, because the bureaucracy cannot handle such large projects for a variety of reasons. That’s why Iraq is one of only two countries, Morocco, being the other in the Middle East and North Africa that has a power deficit.


Power Production
Power Consumption
Difference
Iraq
46.39 bil kilowatts/hr
(2009)
52 bil kilowatts/hr
(2009)
-5.61 bil kilowatts/hr
Morocco
19.49 bil
kilowatts/hr
(2008)
21.47 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
-1.98 bil kilowatts/hr
Qatar
19.18 bil kilowatts/hr
(2009)
18.79 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
+0.38 bil kilowatts/hr
Bahrain
11.22 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
10.48 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
+0.74 bil kilowatts/hr
Yemen
6.153 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
4.646 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
+1.507 bil kilowatts/hr
Jordan
13.01 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
11.3 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
+1.71 bil kilowatts/hr
Tunisia
14.4 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
12.49 bil kilowatt/hr
(2008)
+1.91 bil kilowatts/hr
Libya
26.95 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
22.89 bil
kilowatts/hr
(2008)
+4.06 bil kilowatts/hr
Oman
17.63 bil kilowatts/hr
(2009)
13.25 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
+4.38 bil kilowatts/hr
Israel
53.04 bil kilowatts
(2008)
47.16 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
+5.88 bil kilowatts/hr
Iran
212.8 bil kilowatts/hr
(2009)
206.7 bil kilowatts/hr (2009)
+6.1 bil kilowatts/hr
Kuwait
49.82 bil kilowatts/hr
(2009)
42.58 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
+7.24 bil kilowatts/hr
Algeria
40.11 bil kilowatts/hr
(2009)
30.5 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
+9.61 bil kilowatts/hr
Syria
38.71 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
28.99 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
+9.72 bil kilowatts/hr
UAE
80.94 bil kilowatts/hr
(2009)
70.58 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
+10.36 bil kilowatts/hr
Egypt
123.9 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
109.1 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
+14.8 bil kilowatts/hr
Saudi Arabia
194.4 bil kilowatts/hr
(2009)
174.5 bil kilowatts/hr
(2008)
+19.9 bil kilowatts/hr

Even with all of the conflict, political disputes, and aging infrastructure, Iraq is still one of the largest oil producers and exporters in the region. It is the 5th largest producer overall. After it signed a number of deals with foreign companies, the Oil Ministry announced aspirations to surpass Iran and Saudi Arabia who are the two largest producers in the Middle East. It will probably take a decade to reach Iran’s level because of Iraq’s bureaucracy, politics, and delays in development projects that are endemic to the country.


Oil Prod.
Oil Exp.
Jordan
88 bar/day
(2010)
0 bar/day
Morocco
3,938 bar/day
(2010)
25,090 bar/day
(2009)
Israel
4,029 bar/day
(2010)
86,010 bar/day
(2009)
Tunisia
83,720 bar/day
(2010)
91,200 bar/day
(2009)
Bahrain
46,430 bar/day
(2010)
239,900 bar/day
(2009)
Yemen
258,800 bar/day
(2010)
207,700 bar/day
(2009)
Syria
401,000 bar/day
(2010)
263,000 bar/day
(2009)
Egypt
662,600 bar/day
(2010)
163,000
bar/day
(2009)
Oman
867,900 bar/day
(2010)
592,300 bar/day
(2009)
Qatar
1.437 mil/bar/day
(2010)
1.038 mil/bar/day
(2009)
Libya
1.789 mil/bar/day
(2010)
1.385 mil/bar/day
(2009)
Algeria
2.078 mil/bar/day
(2010)
1.694 mil/bar/day
(2009)
Iraq
2.408 mil/bar/day
(2010)
1.91 mil/bar/day
(2009)
Kuwait
2.45 mil/bar/day
(2010)
2.127 mil/bar/day
(2009)
UAE
2.813 mil/bar/day
(2010)
2.395 mil/bar/day
(2009)
Iran
4.252 mil/bar/day
(2010)
2.523 mil/bar/day
(2009)
Saudi Arabia
10.52 mil/bar/day
(2010)
7.635 mil/bar/day
(2009)

The reason Iraq wants to move towards the top of oil producing countries is that it has huge untapped oil reserves. At 115 billion barrels, it has the fourth most proven reserves in the Middle East and North Africa. It could have even more if more exploration work was done. Much of this is untapped potential however, since it does not have the infrastructure at this date to exploit all of this oil.


Oil Reserves
Morocco
680,000 bar
Jordan
1 mil/bar
Tunisia
425 mil/bar
Israel
1.94 mil/bar
Syria
2.5 bil/bar
Yemen
3 bil/bar
Egypt
4.4 bil/bar
Oman
5.5 bil/bar
Algeria
12.2 bil
Qatar
25.38 bil/bar
Libya
46.42 bil/bar
UAE
97.8 bil/bar
Kuwait
104 bil/bar
Iraq
115 bil/bar
Bahrain
124.6 mil/bar
Iran
137 bil/bar
Saudi Arabia
262.6 bil/bar

All of the countries in the region also have large natural gas reserves. Iraq would like to exploit this resource more, and eventually export it. It is just beginning to sign deals with foreign companies to achieve that. Iraq has the 6th largest gas reserves in region at 3.17 trillion cubic meters. Only 1.149 billion cubic meters were actually produced in 2009, because it lacks the pipelines and storage facilities to use much more. Most of the gas produced in Iraq comes from the extraction of oil, and is burned off. This is a huge waste of resources and money.

2011
Natural Gas Proven Reserves
Morocco
1.444 bil cu. meters
Jordan
6.031 bil cu. meters
Tunisia
65.13 bil cu. meters
Bahrain
92.03 bil cu. meters
Israel
198.2 bil cu. meters
Syria
240.7 bil cu. meters
Yemen
478.5 bil cu. meters
Oman
849.5 bil cu. meters
Libya
1.548 tril cu. meters
Kuwait
1.798 tril cu. meters
Egypt
2.186 tril cu. meters
Iraq
3.17 tril cu. meters
Algeria
4.502 tril cu. meters
UAE
6.453 tril cu. meters
Saudi Arabia
7.807 tril cu. meters
Qatar
25.37 tril cu. meters
Iran
29.61 tril cu. meters


Natural Gas Prod
Natural Gas Cons.
Natural Gas Exports
Natural Gas Imports
Morocco
60 mil cu. Meters
(2009)
560 mil cu. Meters (2009)
0
500 mil cu. Meters
(2009)
Jordan
250 mil cu. meters
(2009)
3.1 bil cu. meters
92009)
0
2.85 bil cu. meters
(2009)
Yemen
520 mil cu. meters
(2009)
100 mil cu. meters
(2009)
420 mil cu. meters
(2009)
0
Iraq
1.149 bil cu. meters
(2009)
1.149 bil cu. meters
(2009)
0
0
Israel
1.55 bil cu. meters
(2009)
3.25 bil cu. meters
(2009)
0
1.7 bil cu. meters
(2009)
Tunisia
3.6 bil cu. meters
(2009)
4.85 bil cu. meters
(2009)
0
1.25 bil cu. meters
(2009)
Syria
6.19 bil cu. meters
(2009)
7.1 bil cu. meters
(2009)
0
910 mil cu. meters
(2009)
Kuwait
11.49 bil cu. meters
(2009)
12.38 bil cu. meters
(2009)
0
890 mil cu. meters
(2009)
Bahrain
12.58 bil cu. meters
(2009)
12.58 bil cu. meters
(2009)
0
0
Libya
15.9 bil cu. meters
(2009)
6.01 bil cu. meters (2009)
9.89 bil cu. meters
(2009)
0
Oman
24.76 bil cu. meters
(2009)
14.72 bil cu. meters
(2009)
11.54 bil cu. meters
(2009)
1.5 bil cu. meters
(2009)
UAE
48.84 bil cu. meters
(2009)
59.08 bil cu. meters
(2009)
7.01 bil cu. meters
(2009)
17.25 bil cu. meters
(2009)
Egypt
62.69 bil cu. meters
(2009)
44.37 bil cu. meters
(2009)
18.32 bil cu. meters
(2009)
0
Saudi Arabia
83.94 bil
cu. meters
(2010)
83.94 bil cu. meters
(2010)
0
0
Algeria
85.14 bil cu. meters
(2010)
29.86 bil cu. meters
(2010)
55.28 bil cu. meters
(2010)
4.502 tril cu. meters
(2011)
Qatar
116.7 bil cu. meters
(2010)
21.89 bil cu. meters
(2010)
94.81 bil cu. meters
(2010)
0
Iran
138.5 bil cu. meters
(2010)
137.5 bil cu. meters
(2010)
7.87 bil cu. meters
(2010
6.9 bil cu. meters
(2010)

Iraq has a healthy trade balance with a surplus due to its oil exports. The amount it earned from that industry went up last year as prices soared with the unrest in the Middle East. However, just a slight drop in price could quickly reverse that trend.

2010
Exports
Imports
Difference
Jordan
$7.333 bil
$12.97 bil
-$5.637 bil
Yemen
$7.718 bil
$8,701 bil
-$0.983 bil
Bahrain
$13.83 bil
$11.19 bil
+$2.14 bil
Syria
$14.03 bil
$16.98 bil
-$2.95 bil
Tunisia
$16.43 bi
$21.01 bil
-$4.58 bil
Morocco
$17.58 bil
$32.65 bil
-$15.07 bil
Egypt
$25.02 bil
$51.54 bil
-$26.52 bil
Oman
$36.6 bil
$17.87 bil
+$18.73 bil
Libya
$41.8 bil
$24.73 bil
+$17.07 bil
Iraq
$51.76 bil
$43.92 bil
+$7.84 bil
Israel
$55.67 bil
$58.04 bil
+$2.37 bil
Algeria
$57.19 bil
$38.38 bil
+$18.81 bil
Kuwait
$66.96 bil
$19.06 bil
+47.9 bil
Qatar
$72.04 bil
$20.94 bil
+$51.1 bil
Iran
$84.92 bil
$58.97 bil
+$25.95 bil
UAE
$212.3 bil
$161.4 bil
+$50.9 bil
Saudi Arabia
$237.9 bil
$88.35 bil
+149.55 bil

The current account balance calculates the balance of trade (exports minus imports), plus net income, and the transfer of payments such as foreign aid, and in Iraq’s case reparations to Kuwait, all together. Iraq has a middling $3.105 billion current account balance, because it still has to pay Kuwait 5% of its oil exports, plus imports large amounts of food, electricity, fuel, and consumer goods. Another sign that Iraq’s economy is not diversified, and is too reliant upon oil is that it has to import so many goods and services.

2010
Current Account Balance
Morocco
-$4.625 bil
Egypt
-$4.435 bil
Yemen
-$1.944 bil
Syria
-$1.379 bil
Jordan
-$974.5 mil
Tunisia
-$973.4 mil
Bahrain
$239.5 mil
Oman
$2.007 bil
Iraq
$3.105 bil
UAE
$6.053 bil
Israel
$6.699 bil
Algeria
$12.74 bil
Qatar
$15.04 bil
Iran
$15.42 bil
Libya
$16.16 bil
Kuwait
$43.14 bil
Saudi Arabia
$70.1 bil

Iraq has the fifth largest debt in the region. That is mostly due to the expense of the Iran-Iraq War, which was largely financed by regional players like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc., loaning money to Saddam. The Saudis and Kuwait have been unwilling to forgive those debts since 2003 for political reasons. The Saudis do not like Shiite rule in Baghdad, and Kuwait is still weary of Iraq as well. The United Arab Emirates did just forgive its $5.8 billion debt on January 17, 2012, but Iraq still has a large outstanding burden.


Debt
Algeria
$4.344 bil
(2010)
Libya
$6.396 bil
(2010)
Yemen
$6.586 bil
(2010)
Syria
$7.636 bil
(2010)
Oman
$7.921 bil
(2010)
Iran
$14.34 bil
(2010)
Bahrain
$14.58 bil
(2010)
Jordan
$17.46 bil
(2011)
Tunisia
$23.09 bil
(2011)
Morocco
$30.19 bil
(2011)
Egypt
$34.91 bil
(2011)
Kuwait
$45.43 bil
(2010)
Iraq
$52.58 bil
(2010)
Qatar
$75.13 bil
(2010)
Saudi Arabia
$80.94 bil
(2010)
Israel
$112.4 bil
(2011)
UAE
$151.8 bil
(2010)

All together, Iraq follows many of the trend seen in the Middle East and North Africa. It has a very young and growing population. This was seen across the region when thousands of young people took to the streets during the Arab Spring, and protests in Iraq itself this past year. It also has an oil dependent economy, which means that it cannot find enough jobs for those young people. The government has responded with more public sector jobs, which solves nothing. To add to these difficulties, Iraq is still trying to recover from two decades of sanctions and war. That has devastated its services, such as health and electricity. Iraq is trying to solve these problems, but to very mixed results. Overall, Iraq is still at the bottom in many important categories when compared to its neighbors, but some things are getting better. The main issue is the government, which seems incapable of successfully implementing any large projects or planning for the future. That makes Iraq a rather typical developing country.

FOOTNOTES

1. Aswat al-Iraq, “Iraq’s poverty 23%, Mideast & North-Africa official says,” 5/14/11

SOURCES

Arraf, Jane, “Iraq’s Arab Spring: Protests rise against persistent poverty in oil-rich nation,” Christian Science Monitor, 5/24/11

Aswat al-Iraq, “Iraq’s poverty 23%, Mideast & North-Africa official says,” 5/14/11
- “Lack of water, soil salinity hamper agriculture in Iraq,” 2/23/10

Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, 2011

Morse, Dan, “Promise of Iraq’s economy remains unfulfilled,” Washington Post, 1/8/12

Salama, Samir, “UAE waives $5.8 billion of Iraq debt,” Gulf News, 1/17/12

Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction,” Quarterly Report and Semiannual Report to the United States Congress,” 1/30/11
- “Quarterly Report and Semiannual Report to the United States Congress,” 7/30/11
- “Quarterly Report to the United States Congress,” 10/30/11

Unger, Christopher, “Planning Ministry promises to fight poverty – again,” AK News, 10/17/11

Al-Wannan, Jaa’far, “Water shortage threatens Iraqi agriculture projects,” AK News, 3/19/11

1 comment:

Joel Wing said...

I just realized that I forgot Lebanon in this report.