Iraq: The state that keeps on begging for money 8/7
Iraq: The state that keeps on begging for money
It no longer surprise me when I read that the Iraqi central government looking for more handouts, donations and “loans” from foreign countries and agencies. Not a day goes by that I do not read an Iraqi politician thanking a foreign entity/government for giving them money that they “need” for this or that project, which is mostly a lie anyway. Most Iraqi politicians have reached a point that not only they have no dignity, but no pride at all.
What is so interesting about the donations that the Iraqi government is ecstatically accepting is hardly any significant amount that can make any changes to Iraqi miserable lives. For example, two days ago the Japanese government donated $10 Million to Iraq (see link below) and that amount of money should be seen as an insult and rejected, but the Iraqi government gladly took that money. And last August, Pope Francis donated $1 Million to Iraq (see link) and one must wonder how far this million will go in Iraq!!
Moreover, last week the US government donated $62 Million to Iraq (see link) and that too was gladly taken by the Iraqi government. At the same time, the Iraqi oil revenue stands at least $200 Million a day! The Iraqi politicians should be a shamed of themselves to accept such donations when Iraq is a very rich country and should never look for handouts.
Furthermore, the 17% share of the Kurdistan Regional Government has not been paid for more than a year and the amount is more than $12 Billion. This means that the Iraqi government expense has been reduced by the $12 Billion and yet, they can not manage to operate and govern properly even with tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue a year.
While the Iraqi government keeps begging for handouts, the top “politicians” are embezzling billions of dollars out of the country with impunity. According to United States Accountability Office, Iraq had a surplus of $38.2 Billion to $50.3 Billion between 2005 and 2007 (see excerpts below). Iraq had such huge surplus simply because their leaders do not care about their own citizens and their wellbeing as they only spent 1% of oil revenue to reconstruction (including water and electricity) and rebuilding of their country! So, where is the surplus money that Iraq had during that period went?
Bottom line, Iraq has the most dysfunctional, and corrupt, government and that needs to change and only the Iraqis can make that happen.
The Iraqi government spent only 1 percent of total expenditures to maintain Iraq- and U.S.-funded investments such as buildings, water and electricity installations, and weapons. While total expenditures grew from 2005 through 2007, Iraq was unable to spend all its budgeted funds. In 2007, Iraq spent 80 percent of its $29 billion operating budget and 28 percent of its $12 billion investment budget.
As of December 31, 2007, the Iraqi government had accumulated financial deposits of $29.4 billion, held in the Development Fund for Iraq and central government deposits at the Central Bank of Iraq and Iraq’s commercial banks. This balance is the result, in part, of an estimated cumulative budget surplus of about $29 billion from 2005 to 2007. For 2008, GAO estimates a budget surplus of between $38.2 billion to $50.3 billion. If spent, a proposed Iraqi budget supplemental of $22 billion could reduce this projected surplus.