Sunday, March 11, 2018

Iraq Fails To Allocate Adequate Funds For Rebuilding War Damage

In February, Iraq’s Planning Ministry announced that the country needed $23 billion immediately for rebuilding damage from the war against the Islamic State, and another $65 million in the mid-term. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) believes that Baghdad can come up with $77 billion of that over the next five years. $27 billion of that would be raised from selling bonds, loans and investment, with the other $50 billion coming from oil revenues via the country’s capital budget.

The new spending plan was just passed at the start of March. It included a $20 billion investment budget. Only $344 million of that however, would go towards reconstruction. That was obviously nowhere near the amount the IMF projected.

Iraq is also seeking outside help to deal with the aftermath of the Islamic State. Last month, Iraq earned $30 billion in pledges at a three-day conference in Kuwait that was supposed to help. Most of that appeared to be ear marked for trade and general economic development however. Organizations such as the United Nations have programs aimed at restoring services and housing, but they’re only spending a little more than what Iraq has allocated. Overall, Iraq will not be meeting the $88 billion it needs for reconstruction anytime soon. That doesn’t mean that parts of the country are not carrying out projects to repair war damage, but most of the needs will go unmet for the foreseeable future.


Chmaytelli, Maher, Hagagy, Ahmed, “Iraq says reconstruction after war on Islamic State to cost $88 billion,” Reuters, 2/12/18

Habib, Mustafa, “Fraught Funding: New Iraqi Budget, New Rules To Anger and Upset,” Niqash, 3/8/18

Sotaliraq, “Parliament takes a decision to cut salaries, compensates the staff of the region and increases taxes,” 2/11/18

Tabaqchali, Ahmed, “’It’s not the donations, stupid’: Key points from the Kuwait conference,” Iraq Business News, 2/21/18

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