I would like to thank His Excellency, Prime Minister al-Abadi, for his warm welcome and hospitality, I’m honored to be here in Baghdad.
We recognize that Iraq is facing tremendous challenges as it confronts Da’esh and copes with 3.2 million internally displaced persons, while also trying to improve services to citizens and reform the economy. The drop in oil prices obviously has made the government’s efforts to promote growth and create jobs much more difficult.
Despite these challenges, Iraq is moving ahead to implement major reforms that will have a long-term positive impact on the country and its citizens. These reforms will be critical for promoting and consolidating stability. We urge a broader and stronger effort to build more inclusive institutions, which, in turn, will both improve the delivery of services and will fight corruption.
We believe the underlying issue facing Iraq is one of institutional cohesion and unity. A country that has such a rich history and cultural diversity needs to tap fully into its potential by empowering citizens and its regions. The World Bank Group is ready to help by engaging at the sub-national level, with financing municipalities, cities, and even governorates, to deliver basic services to citizens.
The World Bank will be on your side, and on the side of every Iraqi citizen, for each step of this long journey toward justice, development, peace and shared prosperity. Thank you.