Corruption seen at root of Iraq's lack of services
Thu May 7, 2009 11:10am EDT
BAGHDAD, May 7 (Reuters) - Widespread corruption is at the root of Iraq's persistent, destabilising lack of basic services, Deputy Prime Minister Rafie al-Esawi said on Thursday. "The biggest challenge is not just the budget, which we were obliged to cut because of the drop in oil income, so that's beyond our control, but also corruption," he said.
Speaking at a conference on services in Iraqi provinces, Esawi cited a host of reasons for the lack of proper water, electricity and other basic services across the country.
Another major problem, he said, is continued violence, even though the bloodshed unleashed by the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 has fallen from its peaks in 2006-2007.
As violence fades, Iraqis focus more and more on problems plaguing daily life, such as intermittent electricity, a lack of clean drinking water and an outdated and overwhelmed sewage system.