Baghdad - INA
The World Bank revealed that about 2.7 to 5 million Iraqis are threatened with poverty as a result of the Corona pandemic and the drop in the price of a barrel of oil, and while confirming its intention to provide support to Iraq to purchase additional vaccines against Corona, he indicated that there is a portfolio of 1.8 billion dollars to support multiple sectors in Iraq .
Dr. Wael Mansour, Senior Economist of the World Bank, said in an interview with the Iraqi News Agency (INA), that “the World Bank has nothing to do with determining the exchange rate in any of the countries it deals with,” noting that “the World Bank has no position regarding changing the exchange rate.” The exchange rate in Iraq and he did not talk about it with any Iraqi party, whether it is the government, the central bank or the parliament, but the decision is sovereign with distinction.
He added, "The bank looks at these prices from an economic perspective, and sees whether the downward or upward movement helps increase the country's competitiveness and growth, and this is not a unilateral measure that should accompany other reforms related to economic growth and investments in infrastructure and human capital."
He pointed out that "the financial budget resources from outside the oil sector are estimated at 8% of the total budget resources," stressing "the need to proceed with real reforms, as in the white paper proposed by the government, including improving collection from customs and taxes, and how to benefit from these resources to increase revenues." non-oil.
He continued, "This requires a plan to increase the fiscal space for the state to invest these resources in strategic sectors such as education, health, social protection and infrastructure. Non-oil revenues must be raised to meet the needs and provide quality public services to citizens, and the need for policies and investments should not be overlooked." in environmental sustainability, especially as the future is heading towards the so-called green growth.”
Regarding loans, he pointed out that "the World Bank did not grant this year any new loan to Iraq," noting that "there is a diversified financial portfolio estimated at $1.8 billion of projects in multiple sectors, including the reconstruction of areas liberated from ISIS, including for the sectors of electricity, education, health and aid. Technology for the Ministries of Finance, Planning and Social Safety Nets.
He added, "We always look forward to working with the Iraqi government in case it requests new projects," noting that "the World Bank is moving forward with a project that helps speed up the vaccination process by bringing in additional quantities of vaccines so that Iraq can confront the pandemic, and we are always by Iraq's side." When asking for new projects.
Downturn in the economy
He explained, "Iraq suffered two shocks during the year 2020, one from the drop in oil prices, and the other due to the Corona pandemic," stressing that "the World Bank estimated the contraction of the Iraqi economy during the past year by 10.3%, due to the contraction of oil production as a result of the OPEC + agreement, as well as the pandemic." Which affected the service sector, which represents about a third of the Iraqi national economy, due to frequent closures .
He pointed out that "the Corona pandemic and the drop in the oil price have affected poverty rates and raised them between seven to fourteen percentage points, or about 2.7 to 5 million Iraqis who are threatened with poverty due to the pandemic and the fluctuation of the oil price ."