Iraqi Economists Network

شبكة الاقتصاديين العراقيين

Fiscal policy & Federal BudgetThe Iraqi National Economy

Iraq: Debt Reduction, Aid, and Conditionality, By Ali Merza

Ali Merza


For full text of the paper including end-of-paper tables and appendix, click PDF file.


The paper, first, looks at the multifaceted benchmarks that have been included in the various international arrangements with Iraq, post 2003, as conditions for aid and debt reduction. It is noted that for non-Paris Club debt the fulfillment of these benchmarks is only a necessary condition. Bilateral negotiations with non-Paris Club creditors could satisfy a sufficient condition; which, however, have not so far, it seems, resulted in concrete reductions. Then, the size and terms of the outstanding debt during the period 2003-2007 is considered. It emerges that the picture, as of the end of 2007, is not that clear. Two sets of estimates are, therefore, presented within which actual outstanding debt, during the period, could occur. In the last section it is found that in the next vital decade (for the rehabilitation of the economy and rebuilding severely damaged infrastructure) annual servicing of debt (starting in 2011) and war reparations could well eat-up 9 – 21 percent of oil revenues; depending on the size of outstanding debt and future crude oil prices.

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