International Organisations

  • 'Iraq in Transition: Post-Conflict Challenges and Opportunities' (Nov 2004)

    Report by the Open Society Institute and the United Nations Foundation.

  • 'Reconstructing Iraq: A Guide to the Issues' (30 May 2003)

    Report by the Open Society Institute and the United Nations Foundation. Also available is an executive summary.

  • IMF
    • First and Second Reviews Under the Stand-By Arrangement (09 Aug 2006)

      The IMF has conducted its 1st and 2nd quarterly reviews of Iraq under the Stand-By Arrangement at the same time due to delays in forming the new government;

      • Iraqi authorities have been largely successful in meeting the SBA targets; when these have not been met, the IMF Executive Board has accepted their requests for waivers (accompanied by a list of corrective measures); the IMF staff have also been favourably impressed by the new government's resolve to continue with the programme. Thus, the SBA is "back on track".

      • economic growth fell to 4% in 2005, and is predicted to continue at that over 2006; inflation has begun to accelerate, a problem worsened by a fixed nominal exchange rate; the fiscal balance is in surplus, in part due to government's inability to undertake investment projects; reserves (oil revenues in the DFI and dollars held by the CBI) are high.

      • the new government is holding the line on spending outside the 2006 budget: there will not be a supplemental budget. Wages and pensions are felt to provide the greatest risk to fiscal balance. The IMF has therefore stressed the omportance of reforming the new pensions law before it takes effect, and claims that the GoI plans to do so (with the World Bank) before the end of September.

      • domestic refined fuel prices have again been increased, bringing them ahead of the SBA schedule in some cases.

      • a draft law to allow private imports of refined products has been passed following removal of clauses setting price controls on resale of the products. It is hoped that this will ease the fuel crisis, and bring black market prices down towards international levels.

      • the Ministry of Finance will resume its bi-weekly T-bill auctions although it already has large reserves

      • to address inflation, the CBI has been raising interest rates. As the monetary transmission mechanism is weak, it is unclear that this does much other than signal the CBI's concern.

      In conclusion, "Iraq's medium term economic prospects look reasonably favorable, but are subject to considerable risk".

    • IMF Approves Stand-By Arrangement for Iraq (23 Dec 2005)

      The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the institution's first-ever Stand-By Arrangement for Iraq, which is designed to support the nation's economic program over the next 15 months. A pdf file containing a report by IMF staff completed endorsing the SBA request, an Appendix containing documents from the Iraqi government in support of their SBA request, a supplemental report by IMF staff indicating that Iraq had enacted the remaining pre-conditions to the SBA, and a statement by Iraq's Executive Director at the IMF is now available. The main elements of the reports are:

      • the SBA allows Iraq to draw on 40% of its IMF quota in the event of a crisis; Iraqi authorities plan not to use this right;

      • the SBA runs until March 2007

      • in return for this facility, Iraq accepts a number of quantitative performance criteria and targets (p. 29, Table 11) centred on fiscal stability as well as a number of qualitative structural performance criteria and benchmarks (p. 31, Table 13) centred on central bank operations, government statistics (including audits thereof) and the development of the banking sector, largely by implementing modern clearing systems between the CBI and commercial banks.

      • approval of the SBA triggers the second 30% reduction of Paris Club debt. The IMF staff still regard Iraqi debt as 'unsustainable'; with the third reduction (to occur if Iraq undergoes three years of programmes like the SBA) it becomes 'sustainable'

      • the document reports on Iraqi economic and governance performance

      None of the ongoing criteria or targets listed above relate directly to petroleum product subsidies. That which seems to bear on this most closely is the floor on revenues from oil related enterprises (Table 11). This would see ID3,250bn (US$2.2bn) raised over 2006, compared to ID900bn (US$600mn) over 2005. To put this in perspective, the 2006 target is a bit less than what the Iraqi government has been spending annually to import refined products.

      In December 2005, as a 'prior action', the Iraqi government did reduce subsidies on a number of petroleum products. The price schedule is displayed in Table 6 (p. 24), which includes an average of prices in the Gulf. These are listed as the IMF staff "urge" Iraq (p. 10, para. 21) to align domestic prices to this average by 2007; the strategy of Iraqi authorities is to further increase prices on a quarterly basis.

      There is almost no discussion about how these prices rises are expected to influence Iraqi society: no information is presented on who currently benefits from the subsidies, in part as this is probably not known - a household income and expenditure survey is only expected to be ready by the end of 2006 (p. 15, para. 39). Thus, steps are mentioned to offset the disruption that will be caused - better control over ration expenses, a 'safety net' equal to one third the savings gained from subsidy reductions targetted at the million poorest households (p. 11, para. 25) - but no further details are provided.

    • 2005 Article IV Consultation (Aug 2005)

      Annual IMF report, including data on oil production, inflation, assesment of Millenium Development Goals progress. Notes a lack of macroeconomic data and urges the Iraqi government to reduce Petrol subsidies. There is also a statistical appendix

    • Considerations on Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations for the Constituent Assembly (Apr 2005)

      Working paper considering inter-departmental relationships and goverment reform.

    • Use of Fund Resources—Request for Emergency Post-Conflict Assistance (Sept 2004)

      IMF Country Report No. 04/325

  • International Crisis Group
    • Reconstructing Iraq (02 Sept 2004)

      Report by the International Crisis Group, outlining the economic problems caused by the Baathist heritage, security problems, lack of CPA planning, and short-termism caused by the hastening of the timetable for the transfer of power. Worries that the limited legitimacy of the interim government will restrain it from making broad economic changes, and sets out an economic agenda for the Iraqi government and the international community. Full report available in pdf and MS Word formats, and in Arabic

  • International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq

    Organisation setup by the UN and World Bank, designed to organise and co-ordinate donations to the reconstruction of Iraq. In particular, controls thtwo trust funds: the UN Development Group Iraq Trust Fund, and the World Bank Iraq Trust Fund.

    • World Bank Iraq Data Sheet (23 Oct 2006)
    • UNDG ITF October Newsletter (Oct 2006)
    • World Bank Iraq Trust Fund Newsletter (July 2006)
    • Third Sixth-Month Report of the activities of UNDG ITF (11 May 2006)

      This report is in two parts, with part two.pdf) containting cluster level progress reports, and part one.pdf) covering progress as a whole. The report covers July-December 2005, detailing the work of the fund.

    • World Bank Iraq Trust Fund Progress Report (May 2006)
    • Rebuilding Iraq: Economic Reform and Transition (Feb 2006)

      This World Bank report focuses on the cross-cutting issues at the heart of Iraq’s transition, including the immediate challenges of reviving the economy and creating jobs, rebuilding public services responsive to citizens’ needs, and strengthening safety nets to protect the poor and vulnerable. It also addresses some overarching issues in public sector governance, particularly the management of oil revenues, the realignment of economic incentives and prices, the reform of human resource management, and the implementation of anticorruption efforts.

  • UN
    • UNDP Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004 (12 May 2005)

      The UNDP carried out a survey in 2004 to analyse the living conditions in Iraq. This found that "Iraq [is] now suffering from some of the region’s highest rates of joblessness and child malnutrition and continuing severe deficiencies in sewage systems, electric power supplies and other essential public services"

      Key findings also include:

      • Unemployment among young men with secondary or higher education stands at 37 percent
      • Even though most Iraqis are now connected to water, electricity or sewage networks, supplies remain unstable and unreliable
      • Almost a quarter of children between the ages of six months and five years suffer from malnutrition
      • More young people today are illiterate than in previous generations
      • Just 83 percent of boys and 79 percent of girls of school age are enrolled in primary school.

      See also the UNDP press release.

      The questionnaire used for the survey is available from FAFO

    • UNAMI Reconstruction and Development updates

      Index of monthly updates since April 2005 produced by the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq.

    • Unicef Country Program Document (26 Oct 2006)

      Details of the situation of children in Iraq and the Unicef's work there

    • Early Childhood Development In Iraq (20 Oct 2006)

      Report on the problems and progress with early childhood development in Iraq

    • UN Reconstruction and Development Update (Apr 2006)
    • Second Sixth-Month Report of the activities of UNDG ITF (30 Nov 2005)

      This report is in two parts, with part two containting cluster level progress reports, and part one covering progress as a whole. The report covers Jan-July 2005, detailing the work of the fund. It concludes by noting that though project implimentation is speeding up, extra funds will be needed.

    • United Nations/World Bank Joint Needs Assessment (Oct 2003)
  • World Bank
    • World Bank Iraq Data Sheet (23 Oct 2006)
    • World Bank Iraq Trust Fund Newsletter (July 2006)
    • World Bank Iraq Trust Fund Progress Report (May 2006)
    • Rebuilding Iraq: Economic Reform and Transition (Feb 2006)

      This World Bank report focuses on the cross-cutting issues at the heart of Iraq’s transition, including the immediate challenges of reviving the economy and creating jobs, rebuilding public services responsive to citizens’ needs, and strengthening safety nets to protect the poor and vulnerable. It also addresses some overarching issues in public sector governance, particularly the management of oil revenues, the realignment of economic incentives and prices, the reform of human resource management, and the implementation of anticorruption efforts.

    • World Bank Approves First IDA Credit (29 Nov 2005)

      Press release detailing the first IDA loan (International Devlopment Association loan, given at below market rates) to Iraq for 30 years. The $100 million 'Third Emergency Education Project' (TEEP) is aimed to help the Government of Iraq alleviate school overcrowding and lay the groundwork for educational reform.

    • Second Interim Strategy Note (23 Aug 2005)

      Overall report outlining how the WB sees the situation in Iraq, what it has done there so far, and plans for the financial year 2006-2007 (for which growth is predicted to be 17%).

    • Pensions In Iraq: Issues, General Guidelines for Reform and Potential Fiscal Implications (Aug 2005)

      World Bank policy note

    • Iraq Trust Fund Data Sheet (July 2005)

      Spreadsheet detailing donors to and projects funded by the WB Iraq Trstu Fund. Also contains basic GDP, growth, etc. statistics.

    • Rebuilding Iraq: Economic Reform and Transition (July 2005)

      Executive Summary of a report focusing on the main issues of Iraq’s transition . Lays out policy options available to the Iraqi government, and discussing tradeoffs under each option. The key themes are reconstruction and job creation; reform of the pricing system; managing oil revenues; and strengthening safety nets.

      In particular, notes "In 2004, only 15 percent of households had a stable electricity supply, and a mere 20 percent had safe and stable drinking water. ". Also focuses on the need to create a better environment for private job creation, trade policy, pricing systems and public governance.

    • Considering the Future of the Iraqi Public Distribution System (28 June 2005)

      Looks at the function of the PDS in the post-sanctions-era. Considers three options: a rapid elimination of the PDS; replacement of the PDS with universal cash transfers (available to all Iraqis); and replacement of the PDS with means-tested cash transfers. It recommends a four-part program including (i) gradually introducing targeting, (ii) reducing the number of products in the ration basket, (iii) increasing the role and capacity of the private sector in the PDS, and in food markets in general, and (iv) immediate improvements in procurement and financial management.

    • The World Bank In Iraq: Iraqi Ownership for Sustainability (June 2005)

      Working paper looking at how the bank should go about reconstruction porjects and institution building in Iraq, looking at previous World Bank work and the background of Iraq.

    • World Bank: Iraq Interim Strategy Document (Jan 2004)
    • United Nations/World Bank Joint Needs Assessment (Oct 2003)
  • WTO