There is an urgent need in Iraq to discuss the direction in which the country is moving. The nation has witnessed conflict for many years and the time is apt to look at the ground reality with a fresh approach.
Just recently, the World Bank has pledged $900 million to Iraq over the next four years. The allocated amount is aimed at creating jobs, building stronger institutions, as well as improving the social aspects of the daily lives of Iraqis. This strategy has been agreed on with the cooperation of various parties, including the World Bank, the Iraqi government, the private sector as well as others. The most important factor in this programme is that it is looking at devising a better management plan for the wealth that is being generated by Iraq’s oil production. Almost 95 per cent of the country’s budget is derived from its oil revenue.
Yet, despite being a country with large oil reserves wealthy enough to guarantee a steady income for its people, Iraq has failed to utilise this resource efficiently. As a matter of fact, the political changes in the country have only brought about an increase in corruption and an alarming misuse of public funds.
If anything, this is indicative of a weak check and balance system as much as a failure of the country’s leadership and the government to set the goal right for the future of Iraq. There is no question that how the government handles its budget is critical to the rebuilding process.
There are no excuses as to why such a structure has not been in place. Neither is it acceptable that the Iraqi people are still falling victim to endless bombings and violence. The bloodshed in Iraq has to stop and the process of rebuilding has to commence. Otherwise the spiral of destruction will never come to an end.