Iraq Allocates $250m for Joint Projects with UN

Iraq has allocated $250 million to fund joint development projects with international partners in 2012, according to reports from AFP.

Peter Batchelor, country director for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq said, "for next year, 2012, the government has put aside in the federal budget $250 million ... The aim... is to use it to create joint projects between the government and the United Nations and other international partners".

"This is a really unique thing - most governments wouldn't do this. They would just expect the UN to bring money, or the World Bank to bring money, so this is a very unique decision."

The allocation is still subject to parliamentary approval.

The United Nations Development Programme, he said, would also spend about $100 million of its own funds next year in Iraq, with an emphasis on three main areas:

Addressing poverty in Iraq, because there are more than 23 percent of Iraqis living in really extreme poverty;

Working to stimulate the economy and particularly the private sector to generate jobs, because the government is never going to be able to actually employ enough people so that all Iraqis will somehow be employed in the public sector;

Governance work, and the reform of certain institutions, including the public sector more generally, which is critical in terms of the delivery of quality services to Iraqis.

(Source: AFP)

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