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IMF approves $1.24 bn Iraq emergency lifeline

Iraqis shop in Baghdad's historic Saray Bazaar on June 2, 2015The International Monetary Fund approved a $1.24 billion emergency loan for Iraq Thursday, saying the country needs extra support in the face of the Islamic State insurgency and depressed oil prices. “The twin shocks faced by Iraq from the ISIS (Islamic State) insurgency and the drop in global oil prices have severely widened the government deficit and caused a decline in international reserves,” said IMF Deputy Managing Director Mitsuhiro Furusawa. The seizure of more Iraq territory by Islamic State group jihadists and the costs of mobilizing a counterattack have further strained the government’s budget, already eroded after crude oil prices, its key source of revenue, fell by half over the past year.

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