The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) issued a report Wednesday pushing for more support for the non-oil private sector in order to help improve Iraq's economy.
A number of policy recommendations have been laid out by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq that will help address the challenges the country is facing towards ensuring sustained progress.
According to Zena Ali Ahmad, Resident Representative of UNDP in Iraq, while Iraq's macroeconomic and fiscal conditions were essentially positive in the last few years, both the oil and the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the oil country's progress.
A rather dismal forecast is seen where Iraq's gross domestic product or GDP will go down by nearly 10% during the current year, and its fiscal deficit to reach an all time high of nearly 30% of the GDP this year as well.
Hence the report promotes support for the non-oil private sector which can be crucial to the local economy's growth and also pave the way for reduced dependency on oil. At the same time to provide for more employment for low income households by extending social assistance programs.
Iraq is heavily dependent on revenues from exporting crude oil and is facing severe economic hardship due to the plummeting oil prices and the recession brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.