U.K. approves US$12 bn loan to Iraq, country received US$18 bn from IMF

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May holds a press conference with her counterpart from Italy Paolo Gentiloni (not shown) at Number 10 Downing Street in London, February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

International Monetary Fund logo. File photo.

Baghdad ( The United Kingdom approved Sunday a US$ 12 billion loan to Iraq to finance important infrastructure projects, Reuters quoted an Iraqi finance ministry source Sunday.

Reuters said an official statement was due later on Sunday giving details of the loan.

Iraq has also received US$18 billion from the International Monetary Fund in installments, according to the Iraqi parliament’s economy and investment committee.

Naguiba Naguib, a member of the committee, said in statements on Sunday that half of that amount, which the country received in three installments, was paid to Kuwait as compensation for the 1991 invasion under late president Saddam Hussein.

The amount has enabled the Iraqi government to pay for employees salaries and pensions, and to secure resources for the treasury, according to Naguib.

“The nearing end of military operations against Islamic State, the soaring world oil prices and the increase in production and exports will secure financial liquidity for Iraq in the coming period and reduce the budget deficit,” she stated.

Last year, the IMF approved a US$5.340 billion loan over three years to Iraq to offset falling petroleum prices and square accumulated debts.

Iraq’s war against IS has further weakened its economy and damaged a large part of its infrastructure, prompting the country to resort to international assistance.

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