Even if the government’s coffers were flush with oil money, endemic corruption would make it difficult for ordinary Iraqis to benefit.
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The bridge to nowhere at Bzeibiz is an apt symbol of the times: Iraq's economy is failing and political squabbling has stalled efforts to fix it.As the battle to force out Isis rages on, 3.3m displaced people like Mr Ashour are at the intersection of the multiple threats Iraq faces.It is not just a problem for Iraq. Iraq's economic woes have been exacerbated by plummeting oil prices. Fearing the collapse of one of the Middle East's largest economies, the World Bank last year pledged $1.2bn to Iraq, well short of the $9bn-$10bn the country is seeking from foreign governments. But even that figure does not take account of the vast cost of Iraq's reconstruction. Corruption is always a worry in Iraq, a country ranked 161/168 in Transparency International's global index.Since Isis blitzed across Iraq in 2014, Mr Janabi estimates unemployment has risen to 50 per cent, and perhaps 80 per cent in areas occupied by the militants. The prime minister's economic adviser, Saleh Mudher, says the solution is to stop the government being Iraq's "major employer", providing jobs for 8m people.
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