Germany will provide a loan worth 500 million euros ($566 million) to Iraq to aid the country's struggling economy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced after a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Berlin.
"Germany is ready to do what it can … to stabilize Iraq in view of the big security challenges and economic challenges," Merkel said during a joint news conference with al-Abadi, noting the impact of weak oil prices on the Iraqi state budget.
Although the loan is not tied to any specific projects, Merkel said Iraq needed to repair its war-torn infrastructure to give Iraqi people hope "so that they don't have to leave their country." She also added that Germany wishes to help demine cities and towns in Iraq so its 3 million internal refugees may once again return home.
The money should also help buoy Iraq's faltering economy in light of the global slump in oil prices – which are now around $30 (26 euro) per barrel, down from $110 (96 euro) in 2014. Oil provides more than 90 percent of Iraq's government revenue, said al-Abadi one day prior.
Deutsche Welle, AP