CoolClownFish’s Blog – How much will $15bn IMF Loan really cost Iraq?

<p><em>By Omar Sattar, for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of <a href=”http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/”>IraqBusiness News</a>.</em></p>
<p>On May 19, Iraq signed an agreement with the <strong>International Monetary Fund (IMF)</strong> for a loan for as much as $15 billion over the next three years. Observers are wondering how Iraq will be able to repay the loan and meet the conditions imposed by creditors, which include various countries and the <strong>World Bank</strong>. One such condition is that Iraq must lift its oil and food subsidies.</p>
<p>The Iraqi <a href=”http://www.ara.shafaaq.com/71764″target=”_blank”>Ministry of Finance</a> said the IMF <a href=”http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/sba.htm” target=”_blank”>Stand-By Arrangement</a> (SBA) will help Iraq in its battle against the Islamic State (IS) to liberate Iraqi territory, while also helping cut the <a href=”http://www.nrttv.com/AR/Detail.aspx?Jimare=10417″ target=”_blank”>budget deficit</a>, which is projected at $25 billion, a figure that could worsen because of <a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iraq-is-broke-add-that-to-its-list-of-worries/2016/03/04/2cf42594-d4af-11e5-a65b-587e721fb231_story.html” target=”_blank”>lower oil prices</a>. The ministry said the loan will not affect government spending on social and health services, but rather it will bring about real financial and economic reform.</p>
<p>Iraq’s previous experience with the IMF doesn’t encourage optimism. In 2004, the IMF imposed an <a href=”http://www.ahewar.org/debat/show.art.asp?aid=31553″target=”_blank”>economic reform package</a> that required Iraq to privatize some sectors and raise fuel prices in exchange for reducing and rescheduling the country’s <a href=”https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS21482.pdf” target=”_blank”>Paris Club</a> debt, estimated at <a href=”http://www.iraqcenter.net/vb/showthread.php?t=28138″ target=”_blank”>$50 billion</a>. Iraq failed to meet those conditions.</p>
<p>Sirhan Ahmed, a member of the parliamentary finance committee, told Al-Monitor the new IMF loan will only make things worse in the long run.</p>
<p>“Iraq does not need a loan from the IMF, as this loan will eventually turn into a set of conditions and dictations on the Iraqi economy. Instead of borrowing, the government should have resorted to retrenchment and issuing bonds while earnestly <a href=”http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/01/iraq-government-leak-documents-corruption.html”target=”_blank”>fighting corruption</a> to address the budget deficit.”</p>
<p><a href=”http://www.mawazin.net/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D9%85%D9%8A%D9%85%D9%8A%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%B6-%D8%B5%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%86%D9%82%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D9%8A-%D8%B3%D9%8A%D9%83%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D9%84%D9%84%D9%81%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D9%88%D9%8A%D8%AA%D8%AD%D9%85%D9%84-%D8%AA%D8%A8%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B4%D8%B9%D8%A8″target=”_blank”>Majda al-Tamimi</a>, another finance committee member, told Mawazin News on May 17 that the loan “will lead to corruption.”</p>
<p>“The Central Bank’s governor held meetings and negotiations concerning the IMF loan, knowing that he sells $126-$140 million from the state’s treasury funds through currency auctions on a daily basis,” she said, referring to the fact that funds are available, yet the bank’s governor is using Iraqi money in buying and selling operations, not to support the budget deficit.”</p>

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CoolClownFish’s Blog – High Level Delegation to attend IBBC Retreat

<p>Mr Frank Baker OBE, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq; Ján Kubiš (pictured), the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq; and Robert Bou Jaoude, the World Bank’s Special Representative for Iraq, have accepted invitations from Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne to speak at the <strong>Iraq Britain Business Council’s (IBBC)</strong> annual weekend retreat at Cumberland Lodge, which will be held on 8-10 July 2016.</p>
<p>The theme of this year’s retreat is ‘<em>Iraq and her Neighbours</em>’, with topics such as Iraq’s relationship with Iran, as well as the challenges presented by Daesh and the low oil prices slated for discussion. Mr Kubiš, who is also Head of the <strong>United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI)</strong>, will speak during the opening session – named after the theme of the event – on Saturday 9 July.</p>
<p>He will be joined by Mr Frank Baker OBE, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq, who has also accepted an invitation to speak during the session. Meanwhile, Mr Bou Jaoude will participate in a discussion scheduled for later in the day entitled ‘<em>A Way Out of Iraq’s Financial Crisis</em>’.</p>
<p>Sir Terence Clarke KBE CMG CVO, a former ambassador to Iraq, has also confirmed that he will be a keynote speaker at the weekend retreat. His presentation will focus on the work of the <strong>Friends of Basrah Museum</strong>, of which he is chairman.</p>
<p>The aim of the organisation, which is a registered UK charity, is to raise money to fund the refurbishment of the Lakeside Palace in Basrah and transform it into a new museum to display objects from the Basrah region and other areas in southern Iraq. The project is due to be completed later this year.</p>
<p><em>(Source: IBBC)</em></p>

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CoolClownFish’s Blog – UN Advertises Jobs in Iraqi Kurdistan

<p><em>By John Lee.</em></p>
<p>The United Nations has advertised several new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:</p>
<ul>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1464161151859″target=”_blank”>Political Advisor</a> (<strong>UNDP</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1463942857482″>ProjectCoordinator</a> (<strong>UNDP</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1463606081375″>ProcurementAnalyst</a> (<strong>UNDP</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1463738092508″>SecuritySector Reform (SSR) and Oversight</a> (<strong>UNDP</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1463606033814″>SocialCohesion and Community Mobilization Specialist</a> (<strong>UNDP</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1463605591620″>InternationalConsultant – Community Mobilization Specialist for UNHABITAT</a> (<strong>UNDP</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1463605583812″>InternationalConsultant/ Municipal Finance Expert (Budget and Execution)</a> (<strong>UNDP</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1464118751713″>ChildHelpline</a> (<strong>UNAMI</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1464118049628″>AdministrativeOfficer</a> (<strong>UNAMI</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1463602991470″>GeneralCoordinator Assistant</a> (<strong>Médecins du Monde</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1464117339747″>Monitoring& Evaluation Intern</a> (<strong>Danish Refugee Council, DRC</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1464117326742″>FinanceAssistant</a> (<strong>Danish Refugee Council, DRC</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1464028311867″>SeniorLogistics Coordinator</a> (<strong>Danish Refugee Council, DRC</strong>)</li>
</ul>
<p><em>(Source: UN)</em></p>
<p><em><a href=”http://www.shutterstock.com/”target=”_blank”>(Recruitment image</a> via <strong>Shutterstock</strong>)</em></p>

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CoolClownFish’s Blog – UN Advertises Jobs in Iraq

<p><em>By John Lee.</em></p>
<p>The United Nations has advertised several new positions in Iraq:</p>
<ul>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1464119696268″target=”_blank”>Director of Office and UNESCO Representative to Iraq</a> (<strong>UNESCO</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1464029587111″>SeniorProject Officer – Education Sector</a> (<strong>UNESCO</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1464118784923″>ChildHelpline</a> (<strong>UNICEF</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1464074711934″>WorldFood Prorgamme – Finance Associate</a> (<strong>UNDP</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1463942857482″>ProjectCoordinator</a> (<strong>UNDP</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1463738092508″>SecuritySector Reform (SSR) and Oversight and Accountability</a> (<strong>UNDP</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1463607796194″>Consultant– Project Coordinator (Camp Coordination and Camp Management – CCCM)</a> (<strong>International Organization for Migration, IOM</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1463683057385″>Headof Office, Baghdad</a> (<strong>Danish Refugee Council, DRC</strong>)</li>
<li><a href=”http://unjobs.org/vacancies/1463521721298″>DeputyHead of WHO Country Office, Baghdad</a> <strong>(World Health Organization, WHO</strong>)</li>
</ul>
<p><em>(Source: UN)</em></p>
<p><em><a href=”http://www.shutterstock.com/”target=”_blank”>(Recruitment image</a> via <strong>Shutterstock</strong>)</em></p>

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CoolClownFish’s Blog – Video: Fallujah Offensive traps Thousands

<p><em>From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of <a href=”http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/”>IraqBusiness News</a>.</em></p>
<p>At least 35 Iraqi soldiers have been killed outside of Fallujah while advancing on the second day of an offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.</p>
<p>The Iraqi army is surrounding Fallujah and is shelling ISIL-held areas, which has led to growing concern for up to 50,000 civilians trapped in the city.</p>
<p><em>Al Jazeera</em>’s Omar Al Saleh reports from Erbil:</p>
<p><span class=’embed-youtube’ style=’text-align:center; display: block;’><iframe class=’youtube-player’ type=’text/html’ width=’640′ height=’390′ src=’http://www.youtube.com/embed/lOgAwxuMwNs?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent’frameborder=’0′ allowfullscreen=’true’></iframe></span></p>

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CoolClownFish’s Blog – Coalition Strikes Continue Against ISIL in Iraq, Syria

<p>U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Iraq and Syria yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.</p>
<p>Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.</p>
<p><strong>Strikes in Syria</strong></p>
<p>Attack and ground attack aircraft conducted two strikes in Syria:</p>
<ul>
<li>Near Ayn Isa, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position.</li>
<li>Near Mara, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL mortar system.</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Strikes in Iraq</strong></p>
<p>Bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 18 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:</p>
<ul>
<li>Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar position.</li>
<li>Near Beiji, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL mortar system.</li>
<li>Near Fallujah, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL front end loader.</li>
<li>Near Habbaniyah, three strikes destroyed an ISIL fighting position, four ISIL weapons caches and an ISIL tunnel and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.</li>
<li>Near Kisik, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL heavy machine gun.</li>
<li>Near Mosul, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units; destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL vehicle, three ISIL assembly areas, three ISIL bed-down locations, and an ISIL tunnel; and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.</li>
<li>Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed two ISIL mortar systems.</li>
<li>Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL assembly areas.</li>
</ul>
<p>Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.</p>
<p><strong>Part of Operation Inherent Resolve</strong></p>
<p>The strikes were conducted as part of <a id=”anch_86″ href=”http://www.defense.gov/News/Special-Reports/0814_Inherent-Resolve”target=”_blank”>Operation Inherent Resolve</a>, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group’s ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said.</p>
<p>Coalition nations that have conducted strikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations that have conducted strikes in Syria include the United States, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, France, Jordan, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.</p>
<p><em>(Source: US Dept of Defense)</em></p>

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The financial experts board praises the calibration and measurement system application

The board of the financial experts praised the role of the ministry of oil for the application of the calibration measurement system in the exportation terminals. Dr. Abdul Basit Turki Saeed the head of the body said “we are thankful … Continue reading

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