By John Lee.
Iraq ranks in 11th place worldwide for the amount of money flowing out via crime, corruption and tax evasion over the past ten years, according to Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington-based research and advocacy organization.
Illicit outflows of cash averaged $10.6 billion per year. Data for Iraq was not available in 2001-2004, so only the years 2005 to 2010 have been considered. In 2010 alone, an estimated $22.2 billion left the country through illegal channels, putting Iraq sixth worst in the world; in that year, Iraq's budget stood at $72.4 billion, and its GDP was estimated at $127.5 billion.
"This has very big consequences for developing economies", explained Sarah Freitas, a co-author of the report. "Poor countries lost nearly a trillion dollars that could have been used to invest in healthcare, education, and infrastructure. It’s nearly a trillion dollars that could have been used to pull people out of poverty and save lives."