Iraq has received 4 billion dollars from international supporting institutions, this was confirmed by the economic adviser to the Prime Minister Mudher Mohammed Saleh.
Saleh pointed out that after negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, Iraq received a grant of two billion dollars in the past year and a half, in addition to a loan of two billion dollars from the World Bank for a total of 4 billion dollars.
And that «the IMF pledged to pay $ 5.5 billion in accordance with the time period to be agreed upon.
Saleh said that «Iraq’s meetings with the IMF focused on reducing the fiscal deficit caused by the almost total dependence on oil resources financial without the activation of other resources».
It also focused on contributing to the establishment of sustainable development bases, which are based on production and service activities in the non-oil sectors, especially in the sectors of manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, construction and other local production and service activities. This may lead to reduce dependence on extraction and export oil and set economic, financial and monetary policies, in accordance with a long-term strategy for sustainable development, in order to escape the adverse effects of the rentier situation and its negative effects, and to gradually reduce these effects with the development of local non-oil industries, an activity tends to dry up in the not too distant future in all cases.
Saleh called on to «strengthen the effective financial will to ensure Iraq’s economic future», explaining that «the continuation of negotiations between the Iraqi government and the International Monetary Fund led to positive results, especially in the process of tightening the federal budget and its focus on important economic points».
This comes in line with the directives of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, to move the process of rationalization of expenditures in the financial budget and the management of state institutions with a new strategy, because of the situation in the country, which requires a government program in harmony with them.
In the same context, the South Korean Ambassador to Iraq signed with the United Nations Development Program an agreement to provide 4 million dollars for reconstruction projects of Iraq, the Seoul government has been providing its fourth financial support since 2015, through the Fund for immediate stability Financing of UNDP, which contributed to the reconstruction of the liberated areas in Iraq from ISIS.
The program coordinator for humanitarian affairs in Iraq, Liz Grande, said that the support contributes to accelerate the implementation of projects for the reconstruction of the worst areas west of Mosul, and governments announced the provision of grants and loans for the reconstruction of Iraq, including France and the Czech Republic, Iraq has also signed loan agreements to repair electricity networks, with English, Japanese and Swedish companies.
The economic expert, “Abdul-Zahra al-Hindawi,” «The magnitude of the great destruction in the provinces and liberated areas need more than 10 years for reconstruction, and cost more than $ 100 billion, noting the difficulty of securing this large amount in light of the continuing economic crisis which requires the interference of the international community and international organizations to be Iraq’s partners in the next phase.
Hindawi did not rule out that « the Iraqi economic reality will witness an improvement in the joints in light of the current trends to find development alternatives, and then we will shorten the duration of construction and Iraq will be satisfied with what it has only without the need for external support».
As for the serious challenges faced by Iraq as a result of liberating its land from terrorism and plans for the reconstruction of the liberated and affected areas, he said: “The questions and ideas come to mind. As the challenges are great and dangerous and it may be useful to mention some of them that they are not hidden for any one specially the appearance of ISIS associated with a significant drop in oil prices ».
He considered the crisis of the displaced is one of the most dangerous consequences of the security crisis noting that there are more than 4 million displaced people from the provinces occupied by the terrorist organization which caused for increasing poverty rates from 20 to 41% in the governorates of Salahuddin, Nineveh and Anbar, and 15 to 30% in Iraq in general.
Hindawi did not overlook «the doubling of unemployment rates from 11 to 21% within two years, in addition to the size of the destruction of the infrastructure, estimated at 40 trillion dinars ($ 34.2 billion) ».
He pointed out «the high proportion of the budget deficit and the rise in public debt and the deterioration of the trade account of the balance of payments and the decline in monetary reserves, and the dire implications and consequences at all economic, social, security and cultural levels ».
He stressed that all the “joints of development suffered side effects at the very least, appreciating the role of the government in the face of the security and economic crises, which had a clear impact on the absorption of the shock and the exit of less losses, then to launch in the reconstruction after the liberation of Iraqi territory in full under unprecedented international openness.
On the important questions currently with the increasing talk about reconstruction plans announced recently, and the extent of the real destruction of the liberated areas, Hindawi said that «the amount of damage and destruction vary from one area to another, in the city of Ramadi, for example, the size of 80%, and the same case In Mosul ». While “damage in other areas did not exceed 15%, but any province did not save from terrorist acts, whether through direct occupation or through car bombings and improvised explosive devices and suicide bombers.”
He stressed the importance of “the completion of the detailed report of the scale of damage and accurate accuracy of each region, and the more precise the report is, the more generous international support will be , especially in light of the move we are witnessing for the convening of the International Donors Conference in Kuwait early next year. And he sees “the accuracy of the report and its realities guarantee the rights of all governorates and thus can help to adopt the principle of crisis employment and its investment in terms of being investment opportunities to bring about changes and results to achieve the principles and objectives of sustainable development.”
While Iraq prepares files to determine the extent of damage suffered by the provinces liberated from the terrorist organization «ISIS» in the forefront of Nineveh province, and the cost of reconstruction, Iraq is expected to receive significant international support during the donor conference, which will be held in Kuwait early next year, which will discuss the reports submitted by Iraq to the Conference on the rights of the concerned governorates.
Shatha Khalil *
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies