WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan24) – A representative of the World Bank recently said there were plans to provide a loan to the government of Iraq as well as the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Shanta Devarajan, the Chief Economist of the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Region, spoke to Kurdistan24 about the financial crisis in the Region and the organization’s efforts to help improve Kurdistan’s economy.
Devarajan stated the World Bank supported the KRG and Iraq, pointing to a loan of one billion US dollars sent to Baghdad last year.
“The World Bank has been assisting Iraq in general and the Kurdistan Region, in particular, for a long time,” he said.
Devarajan revealed the World Bank was in discussions to provide a “subnational loan” to Iraq and the KRG.
“We are starting discussions…about the possibility of doing a subnational loan, one to the KRG and one to Basra,” he explained.
Moreover, the World Bank representative clarified the financial crisis in the country is a “fiscal crisis” because of the salaries owed to civil servants.
Devarajan revealed the World Bank had prepared a “road map” at the request of the KRG on ways to improve and restructure the economy.
“We just did a major report which provides a road map…to restructure the economy and adjust to the [financial] crisis,” he stated.
“We developed a road map to show how the [KRG] can reform the economy,” he continued.
Devarajan pointed to the lack of attention paid to the private sector in the Region and said this was an area where the economy would potentially be able to grow.
(Rahim Rashidi conducted the interview in Washington, DC)