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  1. #1

    Get house in order, World Bank tells Iraq Read More :

    Looks to me Sadr and Ba Ki Moon on the same page even if they're on opposite sides of the same being internal and the other external.

    Get house in order, World Bank tells Iraq
    One of the largest economies in the Middle East under twin threats from oil and terrorism.

    By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author |

    March 28, 2016 at 7:52 AM

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, center, and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, right, review economic threats in the era of terrorism and lower crude oil prices. U.N. Photo by Mark Garten

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    BAGHDAD, March 28 (UPI) -- Faced with threats from terrorism and low oil prices, the world community is ready to help, but Iraqis make take initiatives, the U.N. secretary-general said.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined the heads of the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank in expressing solidarity with Iraqi leaders struggling to ensure financial and national stability. From Baghdad, the secretary-general said he was calling on regional and international partners to help support a threatened Iraq, though the Iraqis themselves needed to take responsibility to resolve crises.

    "These reforms must include measures to empower women and young people, and to bring [about] greater social cohesion," Ban said in a statement.

    Iraq's $200 billion economy is one of the largest in the Middle East, though several decades of conflict have taken on a toll on state infrastructure, while the recent collapse in crude oil prices has strained its financial coffers.

    The International Monetary Fund more recently warned Iraq is facing twin economic shocks in the form of the national security threat posed by the Islamic State terrorist group and the steep decline in crude oil prices.

    Conflict, the IMF warned, was hurting Iraq's non-oil economy because of trade disruptions, a loss of investor confidence and the destruction of infrastructure.

    The World Bank, meanwhile, said Iraq "needs to put its economic house in order" by reforming state-owned enterprises, enacting more even distribution of oil revenues and addressing chronic shortages of electricity.

    "Through demonstrating a commitment to such real changes, we hope Iraq can find the support it seeks to relieve its immense fiscal pressures in the light of significantly reduced oil prices," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said.

  2. #2

    Re: Get house in order, World Bank tells Iraq Read More :

    VIDEO: U.N. chief presses Iraq on national reconciliation to defeat Islamic State
    World | Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:17pm EDT Related: WORLD, IRAQ


    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called on the Iraqi government on Saturday to step up efforts to foster reconciliation between the nation's Shi'ite and Sunni Muslim communities in order to combat Islamic State.

    "National reconciliation is an important part of the strategy to defeat Daesh (Islamic State), who have ruthlessly exploited divisions and targeted the marginalized and disenfranchised," he told a joint news conference in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

    The U.N. chief was referring to the country's minority Sunnis who say they were marginalized under the Shi'ite-led government installed after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 and some of whom have joined the militant group which seized swathes of Iraq nearly two years ago.

    World Bank President Jim Young Kim and president of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Ahmad Mohamed Ali joined Ban in the rare visit to Iraq's capital and were expected to accompany him to the northern Kurdish city of Erbil later in the day.

    The officials also met with Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and later addressed a closed session of Iraq's parliament.

    Kim told lawmakers that Iraq needed to do more to empower local governments, encourage the private sector and reform the state's economic policies which are hamstrung by waste and corruption.

    "Inefficient state owned enterprises that stifle private sector development need to be reformed, so a more vibrant entrepreneurial sector can emerge," he said, according to a copy of the speech posted on parliament's website.

    Kim added that Iraq would "feature prominently" in the bank's plans to invest $20 billion in the region by 2021, without providing details.

    The World Bank lent Iraq around $2 billion last year for reconstruction, infrastructure, and emergency budget support to help it deal with the economic effects of the fight against Islamic State and the low price of oil, which accounts for around 90 percent of government revenues.

    IDB's Ali said the bank would contribute to the reconstruction of areas destroyed in fighting between Islamic State and U.S.-backed Iraqi forces seeking to recapture them.

    (Additional reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Writing by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Mark Potter)

  3. #3

    Re: Get house in order, World Bank tells Iraq Read More :

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