Japan has agreed to lend Iraq up to $195m for a project to help repair a thermal power station in the southern province of Basra, the UAE’s official WAM news agency has reported citing an Iraqi government statement.
The loan agreement was signed during a recent visit to Iraq by Japan's State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kentaro Sonoura, who met Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the prime minister's office said in a statement.
Though Iraq is a major OPEC oil producer, the country faces chronic electricity shortages, with its fragile grid struggling to meet demand after years of war, sanctions and neglect.
Iraq needs external financing to plug a budget deficit of approximately $21.5bn for this year as it grapples with lower global oil prices and costs associated with the fight against extremists, the agency added. Source: Japan International Cooperation Agency