Government scrambles for solutions as Iraq faces financial free fall

Confronting low oil prices and a pandemic, Iraq will likely be forced to draw heavily from its foreign currency reserves while slashing oil and investment spending.
Government scrambles for solutions as Iraq faces financial free fall
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy and Oil Minister Thamir Ghadhban chairs a Cabinet meeting, conducted by videoconference, to discuss the country's health sector and the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, on April 1, 2020. (Photo credit: Iraqi Council of Ministers)

As Iraq descends into a severe financial crisis caused by low oil prices, the government has no clear plan for dealing with a multi-billion-dollar budget shortfall and the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

State oil revenues in March, of just $2.989 billion, left the government $2 billion short of the cash required just to pay public sector salaries and pensions – and well below the $9 billion of monthly expenditures outlined in the most recent budget law.

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