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Beyond war and internal conflict: How should the World Bank support Iraq now? Have your say

Marie-Helene Bricknell's picture
Also available in: العربية
As the Arab Spring swept through the region, Iraq was at war and fighting a homegrown insurgency.  Since the war’s end, Iraq has had to pick up the pieces and come to terms with its sanctions and bloody sectarian conflict. 

Nearly one year after the end of the American withdrawal, Iraq faces daunting challenges including dilapidated infrastructure, an economy largely under state control, a problematic education system, and high unemployment, especially among youth and women.  How Iraq addresses these challenges in the medium term will have a long-term effect on its stability and development.

The World Bank is committed to supporting Iraq’s efforts to achieve a successful transition through the following means:  supporting Iraq in maintaining macroeconomic stability; promoting the role of a competitive private sector through inclusive growth and employment creation; and enhancing transparency and accountability of government, including fostering citizens’ participation, social accountability, and improved delivery of social services. 

This presentation provides a glimpse into the World Bank Group – which includes the International Finance Corporation and the Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA) – and its strategy for support to Iraq (January 2013 June 2016). The Country Partnership Strategy outlines the ways in which the World Bank Group can support the rebuilding of Iraq’s economy and help set the stage for longer-term sustained growth.

From its office in Baghdad, the World Bank team has been engaged in a wide-ranging conversation with various stakeholders in Iraqi society. We would like to understand Iraqis' priorities for their country after so many years of war and sanctions and how we can best support them in the medium term. There are more conversations planned in the weeks ahead. We also want to use online tools like this blog and our Facebook presence to reach those who we cannot meet in person. Social media played such a vital role during the Arab Spring and it has been particularly successful in reaching young people so we too want to reach out to you on the following four questions:
  • How relevant is the proposed program given Iraq’s development challenges and needs?
  • Are the proposed areas of engagement appropriate?
  • Is this the right strategy for Iraq?
  • Does the strategy address the key challenges, such as weak institutions, poor delivery of basic services and poor governance?
  • We value your thoughts. Let us hear from you.


    Submitted by Ann Weaver on

    While the World Bank has many critical areas to address, I encourage the Bank to promote women's cooperatives for production of viable goods (e.g. yarn, fiber products) that can be sold locally and on a world market. The cooperative itself can be a source for shared child care for members, an avenue for delivery of health care, a means for educating families - and at the same time giving women a valued role in community development. I don’t think you would have to ‘reinvent the wheel’ here - there must be models already in place in other countries worthy of adaptation.

    Cooperatives open opportunities for partnerships with private sector groups in other countries which can be sources for raw materials, provide expertise in redeveloping local resources for raw materials through agriculture and animal husbandry, or facilitate marketing and distribution of end products abroad.

    On a personal note, as someone in the US who knits as a hobby, I increasingly see countries like Peru, Turkey and South Africa listed on the paper labels that wrap skeins of high quality yarns found in local yarn shops. I would love to see “made in Iraq” on a skein of yarn and I am confident other knitters would too!

    Submitted by Anonymous on
    I think it's a courageous strategy and, if it is successfully implemented, it will help change the country's way of doing business. Maybe something will be built for the next generations. Good luck!

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