Iraq outlines financial crisis response plan

Emergency measures include $35 billion in new borrowing, a total overhaul of the economy, and the potential devaluation of the Iraqi dinar.
Iraqis who recently graduated with engineering degrees protest for jobs outside the main gates of the Basra Oil Company headquarters on Oct. 11, 2020, forcing workers to use alternate entrances. (JASSIM AL-JABIRI/Iraq Oil Report)

Iraq is beginning to grapple with the unprecedented magnitude of its financial crisis, as the government seeks $35 billion in new borrowing, proposes a total overhaul of the economy, and considers devaluing the currency for the first time in two decades.

The measures are likely to be as unpopular as they are necessary, presenting a daunting political challenge for Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who inherited an economic disaster nearly two decades in the making, characterized by unsustainably high spending and over-reliance on oil revenue.

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