Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fallout from economic crisis and low oil prices in Iraq

Here's an excerpt from last week's Iraq Crisis Report about the fallout in Iraq from the global economic crisis and low oil prices. Funny how coverage about the domestic crisis always trumps the global repercussions (often worse than here in the U.S.).

Thanks to the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance.

"The dramatic fall in global oil prices has already cancelled around US$600 million in electricity contracts and will now force Iraq to cut spending on basic services that its war-weary citizens need, such as sewage treatment and power supply. Last summer, oil prices were at US$147 per barrel, and have decreased to under US$50, resulting in the Iraqi government slashing its 2009 spending plans twice. Parliament then decided to slash more money, leaving the government US$58.6 billion to spend on rebuilding the war-torn nation. The parliament’s version of the budget has yet to be approved by the council of ministers. Meanwhile, Iraq’s plans to build and renovate infrastructure have been neglected. Initially, US$5 billion had been allocated for Iraqi municipalities for development, but 60 percent has been chopped off. They will get around US$340 million. (Reuters, March-31)"

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