Iraq, April 23, 2016
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said on Wednesday (April 20) that development efforts continue in the region despite difficulties tied to the ongoing economic crisis.

Speaking at the Erbil Provincial Development Strategy conference, Barzani said international experts are providing the KRG with assistance as well as a plan for development through 2020.

The PM added that the plan includes an Erbil Provincial Development Strategy for 2016 to 2018.

“Although we have a war and unbending economic crisis, we are persistent and continue our work and we are committed to developing the Kurdistan Region,” Barzani said.

The KRG has faced an economic crisis since a dispute with Baghdad in early 2014 saw its share of the Iraqi federal budget delayed.

Erbil increased independent oil exports in an effort to make up for dwindling payments, further straining relations with the central government.

The global slump in oil prices, fight against the IS and an influx of Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqis have added more pressure on the KRG’s economy.

As a result, Erbil has also struggled to pay salaries for civil servants and Peshmerga fighting against IS militants without a steady income.

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