Sunday, May 31, 2020

Iraq's corruption can be felt in the lack of rice, the lack of drinking water and the massive redecorating of Nouri's home

The corruption is effecting every thing -- including, now, the food rations program.  ASHARQ AL-AWSAT reports:

Iraq has only 190,000 tons of rice available in its coffers for its food rationing program, the trade ministry said in a statement late on Saturday.
The country needs around 1-1.25 million tons of rice a year to support the program.
In March, the trade ministry pleaded for money from the state's budget to build three months' supply of strategic wheat and rice stockpiles as Iraq grappled with the spread of the new coronavirus.

The corruption has long been noted.  A decade ago, some pretended to be interested in it and in eliminating it -- the US Congress, for example, and the US State Dept to name but two.  These days?  No one really seems to care except for the Iraqi protesters.  A few days ago, Khaled Yacoub Oweis (THE NATIONAL) reported:

A veteran Iraqi economist who is advising the country's new Prime Minister, Mustafa Al Kadhimi, has revealed astounding figures on government waste in the resource-rich but impoverished nation.

Mudher Salih told of a state obsessed with generating money from its oil sector without acting to develop the country or plug holes in the budget that have been sucking liquidity out of public finances for years.

The electricity sector costs the government about $10 billion (Dh36.73bn) a year to run but generates only 7 per cent of its operating costs in revenue, Mr Salih told the official Iraqi news agency on Tuesday.

Iraq also suffers crippling power cuts and imports electricity and gas from Iran to boost production.

Official datas show its generation capacity at 16,000 megawatts, compared with the 24,000 to 30,000 megawatts needed to satisfy demand.

Mr Salih, a former central bank official, is one of the few senior independent experts in Iraq who survived purges under Saddam Hussein.

He retained a senior position in the state after the consolidation of the Shiite political ascendency in 2005, the year Iraq had its first democratic poll post-Saddam.

Mr Salih said Iraq imported $50bn worth of fuel in the past 10 years, although it is one of the top five members of Opec.

"This amount could have been used to build 10 large oil refineries," he said.

Fuel and electricity issues are not the only ones corruption has caused.  There remains the issue of Iraq having a lack of potable water.  This should have been seriously addressed in 2003.  Instead, 'addressing' it was handing out tablets to purify water and blaming women -- the United Nations blaming women, let's be clear.  That allowed the corrupt government of Iraq to continue to ignore the water issue.  Basra's water was so outrageous that it's part of what fueled the protests.  ALSUMARIA reports that the Water Ministry declared today that it 'plans' to address the issue of the lack of drinking water in Basra.  Corruption would also include the report that, as vice president, Nouri al-Maliki to four billion dinars (3,349,396 in US dollars) from the government to decorate his home.

As violence continues in Iraq, RUDAW reports on one death:

A Kurdish policeman in Kirkuk was found beheaded on Sunday morning in what his family believe to be a “terror-related incident.” 

The body of Bahjat Anwar, a father-of-five and member of  Kirkuk's police force was discovered in his vehicle in the city's Askari neighbourhood.

Anwar's son Hussein Bahjat said he was unable to reach his father on three of his mobile phones after he left to repair his car on Saturday afternoon.

A number of knife wounds was found on his body, his brother Awad Anwar told Rudaw, adding that he had money and phones on his person at the time.

Lastly, this is not Iraq related.  We're noting it due to the topic and with the hope that this will get the attention it deserves.  ANI reports:

Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh, India: A four-year-old girl, whose body was found in a well in Naugaon last week, was allegedly raped, the police said.

"The incident took place on the intervening night of May 28-29. The body of the four-year-old girl was found in a well on May 29 morning. The post-mortem report has revealed the girl was subjected to sexual assault and homicide. A case is being registered and suspects are being interrogated," Chhatarpur Superintendent of Police (SP) Kumar Saurabh told reporters here.

He also said that an investigation is underway into laxity allegations on part of police officials. "If it is found true, those involved will be suspended," Saurabh said.

The following sites updated: