ERBIL, Iraq – Iraq’s public debt has reached $133 billion, its highest level ever, Iraqi vice president Iyad Allawi said on Saturday.
Allawi told a press conference that Iraq’s public debt reached a new record despite the country’s vast natural resources, but did not provide more detailed information about the reasons behind the increase.
The International Monetary Fund had previously estimated Iraqi debt would reach $123 billion in 2017 and $132 billion in 2018, a figure that amounts to more than 65 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
The World Bank, meanwhile, said in its most recent analysis that Iraq was affected by the decline in the price of oil and the cost of fighting the Islamic State terror organization.
Iraq’s budget deficit in 2016 reached 14 percent of GDP, according to the World Bank, due to security and humanitarian aid expenses in addition to the decline in oil revenues.