There is no secret behind the success of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region on the economic and service levels. The region endured, until 2003, extremely tough security and political circumstances that affected its infrastructure and left these cities far behind other Iraqi cities. However, since 2003, the region has made a huge leap forward on all levels and has wisely invested money in the right places. Meanwhile, money has been terribly squandered in all of Iraq’s other regions.
Today, there is no comparison between the cities of the Kurdistan region and other Iraqi cities. Kurds have managed to traverse the economic-transition process by way of a budget amounting to 17% of the federal Iraqi budget, while the remaining 83% of the Iraqi budget was misplaced.
It is no coincidence that the Iraqi Kurdistan Region can provide electricity to its three cities (Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Dohuk) with only $1 billion in investments and can even import power to cities like Kirkuk and Mosul, while the remaining Iraqi cities cannot budge the slightest bit in the power sector, even with their $44 billion in investments.
When you ask Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani — a calm Kurdish man in charge of the energy and oil-management file in the region — for the reason, he answers that the will to achieve was stronger than bureaucratic complications.