Since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, and then the subsequent removal of international sanctions, Iraq’s oil production and exports have increased steadily. Exports have risen this has corresponded with an increase in oil prices throughout the 2000s, beginning from 2003. Due to this, Iraqi revenues from the oil sector have increased dramatically and this has been reflected in surges in the annual budget. The 2013 budget is the highest in Iraq’s history.
But now we return to the question at hand: how big does the Iraqi budget need to be for it to be adequate? To decide how much is enough, one can look to developed nations for a benchmark - specifically the OECD average, to derive an approximate “ideal” figure from recent expenditure. The following table indicates how much each country spent per citizen in 2009; it also shows the OECD average spend per citizen for 2009.
This turns out to be US$15,331 per citizen. Meanwhile Iraq’s 2013 draft budget is US$118 billion. With Iraq’s population of over 34 million this means Iraq would only be spending about US$3,440 per citizen.