Iraq Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has announced government funding to improve services in Basra, following this weeks protests in the area. A package of $2.5 billion has been immediately made available for development projects in the area for water, electricity and health services. In addition, Abadi has also announced that 10,000 appointments will be made for civil servants in Basra.
The directive comes following public protests which have erupted throughout the area in response to poor services, corruption and poverty in the oil rich region which accounts for over 95% of the country's oil revenues.
Protesters have occupied government buildings, airports and the key port of Umm Qasr, with clashes causing injuries and disruptions. Additional security forces have been deployed in order to prevent disruption at the country's oil fields and it is hoped the funding announcement will help quash the protests, whilst providing crucial infrastructure improvements for the areas inhabitants.