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Reform measures boost Iraq’s reserves by more than $8 billion: Kadhimi

Iraq’s foreign currency reserves have risen by more than $8 billion due to government reform measures, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said on Monday, according to state media.

“We have succeeded in stopping the waste of money and corruption in the notorious central bank auction. We are continuing with our procedures and we will not stop,” Kadhimi said, putting the central bank’s reserves at more than $60 billion – up from the pre-reform total of $51.9 billion.

The auction, “a daily process in which Iraq’s central bank provides dollars to a limited number of the country’s commercial banks in exchange for Iraqi dinars,” was described by the New York Times as the “sewage system of Iraqi corruption”, due to the money laundering operations carried out with the participation and support of backed-Iranian militias and other terrorist groups, in collusion with central bank officials.

Iraq is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International.

The government announced in October a series of economic reforms titled “The White Paper,” including reforms in oil, electricity, agriculture, schools, and limiting waste and corruption.

In February, Iraq’s Integrity Commission recovered more than a trillion Iraqi dinars (approximately one billion USD) in 2020.

The head of the Border Crossing Commission, Omar al-Waeli, revealed on Sunday that an electronic system has been implemented at all border crossings to confront rampant corruption, control documents and avoid forgery.

“The measures taken by the commission under the auspices of Prime Minister Kadhimi, are to assure state prestige by reinforcing security in border crossings and replacing incompetent cadres,” he said.