Page last updated at 09:21 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010

Iraq gets its largest loan to date from IMF


Iraq is to be given a $3.6bn (£2.3bn) loan by the International Monetary Fund -the biggest to the country so far.

The money is aimed at helping Iraq rebuild its battered infrastructure.

The IMF has lent smaller amounts before, loans that came with the conditions of removing subsidies from manufacturers and farmers.

Iraq's revenue is suffering from a depressed oil price and it faces a financing gap of close to £5bn (£3.3bn) until the end of 2011.

Analysts say the conditions attached to previous IMF loans have caused resentment among Iraqis as they have struggled to compete with neighbouring countries in trade.

Iraq relies on oil revenues for as much as 90% of its income and desperately needs funds to rebuild after years of conflict and an insurgency triggered by the 2003 invasion.

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