A Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) minister revealed to what extent the 2014 financial crisis had adversely affected the work of the ministry.
In a statement on the official governmental website, Darbaz Kosrat Rasool the Minister of Housing and Construction stated that the extensive lack of budget has delayed all the projects.
"Only 56 main projects, out of 218, were completed", he added, stating that the work on other projects is very slow due to the financial crisis.
He also estimated that the costs for roadwork in the Kurdistan Region would reach five billion USD, stating that 97 strategic road and housing projects require 1.4 billion USD to be completed.
Rasool added that based on the ministry’s plan, all the highways and main roads between the Kurdistan Region cities should have been finished by 2018, but due to lack of the budget most of the projects will be postponed.
The KRG Minister explained that the Iraqi government has not provided any financial support to the Kurdistan Region from the foreign loans given to Iraq for building and renovating roads, stating that KRG efforts will continue to provide enough funding to complete the unfinished road projects across the Kurdistan Region.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) needs more than $1.4 billion USD to complete housing and road projects which were halted due to the economic crisis, a senior official said.
The KRG Minister of Housing and Reconstruction, Darbaz Kosrat Rasul, said on Saturday (May 13) there are 97 uncompleted strategic projects in the Kurdistan Region which require $1.4 billion to be constructed, according to an official KRG website.
The minister added only 56 main projects out of 218 have been completed since 2014, when the economic crisis in the Kurdistan Region began following the budget cut from the Iraqi government, the beginning of the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) and the entrance of a large number of refugees and displaced Iraqis.
The drop in the price of oil has also affected the economic crisis in the Kurdistan Region.
“Nearly $200 million USD is also needed for the contractors,” the minister continued. “The KRG needs nearly $5 billion USD to build its roads.”
Rasul said the KRG is trying to participate in an international donation conference due to be held in Kuwait to reconstruct places ruined due to the fight against ISIS.
“We continue [talking with] the Iraqi government for the KRG’s attendance in the conference, but [Baghdad] hasn’t responded yet,” he noted.
In an effort to cut spending, KRG cabinet ministers approved an eleven-point financial reform package last year to tackle the region’s economic crisis.
That package focused on reducing budgets and expenditures in the KRG’s three branches – the presidency, Council of Ministers and Parliament.