Chronic Corruption Keeps Iraq Trapped in Vicious Circle
(MENAFN – MENAFN.COM)
For many Iraqis, there’s little doubt about what is to blame for the horrific hospital fire which killed at least 82 people and injured over a hundred others in late April. Endemic corruption has decimated the country’s infrastructure and sapped the national treasury for years, but its explosive manifestation at Ibn al-Khatib Hospital brought angry protestors out onto the streets in their thousands as they petitioned for the government to impose consequences on the guilty parties and stamp out corruption at its core.
It’s well over a year since widespread demonstrations – which incurred the deaths of over 600 citizens and caused life-changing injuries to tens of thousands more – precipitated a change in government, but sadly very little appears to have improved in the interim. Chronic cronyism and endemic embezzlement mean that the state is unable to provide the jobs, services and infrastructure that the Iraqi people need, while the perfidious nature of the country’s political and commercial landscape is an unignorable red flag to overseas investors. Indeed, that situation has only become more entrenched by an illogical ruling from the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), which has given foreign entrepreneurs little encouragement to part with the capital that Iraq so sorely needs in order to rebuild its crumbling economy.