The Iraqi government is planning to make use of increased oil revenues to fund the construction of simple houses for poor families currently living in inadequate shacks.
[Read this report in Arabic]
A government spokesman on 5 August said the scheme would be implemented when the new “complementary budget” is approved by parliament, which it was on 6 August.
Finance Ministry spokesman Adnan Abdul-Rahman said some 25 billion Iraqi dinars (about US$21 million) had been allocated to each of the 18 provinces for the construction of “simple houses for poor people who are living in inadequate places made either of reeds or strips of metal.”
The houses “planned to be one-storey buildings with two rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom/toilet” would be built by private companies over the coming five months, he said, adding that the local authorities would determine who would benefit. Internally displaced persons would not be covered.
Increasing oil revenues due to high world prices enabled the Iraqi government in early July to add US$21 billion to its 2008 budget, bringing the total 2008 budget to around US$70 billion, Abdul-Rahman said.
About US$7.4 billion of the new money would be spent on economic and infrastructure development, bringing the total allocated for investment in all sectors in 2008 to US$20.4 billion, he said. The remaining US$13.6 billion would be earmarked for ministries and operational activities in the provinces.
A reduced level of violence over the past few months has allowed Iraq to achieve pre-war production levels of about 2.5 million barrels a day, according to the Iraqi Oil Ministry.
Iraq has the world’s third largest oil reserves (an estimated 115 billion barrels). Exports currently stand at just over 1.9 million barrels a day.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
Help make quality journalism about crises possible
The New Humanitarian is an independent, non-profit newsroom founded in 1995. We deliver quality, reliable journalism about crises and big issues impacting the world today. Our reporting on humanitarian aid has uncovered sex scandals, scams, data breaches, corruption, and much more.
Our readers trust us to hold power in the multi-billion-dollar aid sector accountable and to amplify the voices of those impacted by crises. We’re on the ground, reporting from the front lines, to bring you the inside story.
We keep our journalism free – no paywalls – thanks to the support of donors and readers like you who believe we need more independent journalism in the world. Your contribution means we can continue delivering award-winning journalism about crises.