Iraq: Federal government increases funding to Kurdistan

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WORLD Baghdad has agreed to pay autonomous Kurdistan three annual installments of 700 billion dinars (more than $530 million)

Iraq: The federal government increases funding paid to Kurdistan

An aerial view of the area surrounding the Kirkuk Olympic Stadium in the multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, disputed between Iraqi Kurdistan and Baghdad. — AFP

The federal government in Baghdad agreed. this Sunday to increase funding for autonomous Kurdistan in Iraq – vital for the payment of civil servants' salaries – a heated issue often a source of tension between the two parties. At the beginning of September, several thousand people demonstrated. in a town in Kurdistan, in northern Iraq, to ​​protest against two months of unpaid salaries, the regional government criticizing the authorities in Baghdad for not having transferred workers. funds.

This Sunday, Baghdad accepted to pay annually to autonomous Kurdistan three tranches of 700 billion dinars (more than 530 million dollars), according to a press release of the services of Prime Minister Mohamed Chia al-Soudani. These sums will be paid to Kurdistan via loans issued by three public banks and reimbursed by the Baghdad Ministry of Finance, according to the same source.

The head of the regional government greeted “The’successful agreement” found with Baghdad

The mechanism aims to provide “liquidity to the regional government of Kurdistan of Iraq and enable it to pay civil servants' salaries, social subsidies and retirees' pensions”, underlines the press release. The competent services at your disposal Baghdad and Kurdistan have one month to “verify the number of civil servants, beneficiaries of social subsidies and retirees”, adds the text.

Iraqi Kurdistan has long accused Baghdad of not sending the funds necessary to pay civil servants. Previously, the region had, thanks to Its oil exports require independent financing to partially pay salaries. But since the end of March it has been deprived of this resource due to a dispute with Turkey and Baghdad.

In principle, Iraqi Kurdistan and Baghdad have agreed that sales of Kurdish oil will henceforth go through the federal authorities. In exchange for this, 12.6% of the federal budget is allocated to Iraqi Kurdistan. At the beginning of September, Baghdad had initially unblocked an envelope of 500 billion dinars (around 380 million dollars). But according to autonomous Kurdistan, more than 900 billion dinars would be needed each month to pay salaries, according to Erbil.

The head of the regional government at Erbil Masrour Barzani greeted “The’successful agreement” finally found with Baghdad “to guarantee salaries”. “I thank our fellow citizens for their patience, their determination and their unwavering confidence in their government”, he added. in a press release. He also called Prime Minister Mohamed Chia al-Soudani to thank him for his “support”.