US sends funds to KRG for Peshmerga July salaries

By Rudaw 11/8/2016

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The United States on Thursday provided funds to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to cover Peshmerga salaries for July, as was agreed under the memorandum signed between the US and KRG last month.

“The US has sent the money, and the Ministry of Finance and Economy of the KRG will decide on the date of distributing it,” Jabar Yawar, chief of staff for the Peshmerga ministry, told Rudaw.

“According to the KRG-US memorandum, they provide part of the salary of those [Kurdish Peshmerga] forces who are at front lines and the KRG provides the rest,” Yawar said.

The Kurdish government has not been able to pay Peshmerga and civil servant salaries on time or in full in the last two years due to a severe financial crisis caused by declining oil prices and budget cuts from Baghdad, plus the wave of refugees and IDPs the region is hosting.

“The agreement starts from July and all of the Peshmerga salary is expected to be given in a couple of months,” Yawar continued, referring to the memorandum of understanding.

The acting Peshmerga Minister, Karim Sinjari, and US acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Elissa Slotkin signed the memorandum in the presence of Kurdish President Masoud Barzani in Erbil on July 12.