Cash to help repair a thermal power station in the southern province of Basra
Japan to lend Iraq $195 million
Japan has agreed to lend Iraq up to US$195 million for a project to help repair a thermal power station in the southern province of Basra, an Iraqi government statement said.
Although Iraq is a major Opec oil producer, the country faces chronic electricity shortages, with its fragile grid struggling to meet demand after years of war, sanctions and neglect.
The loan was signed during a visit to Iraq by Japan's state minister for foreign affairs, Kentaro Sonoura, who met the prime minister Haider Al Abadi on Saturday, the prime minister office said.
Iraq needs external financing to plug a budget deficit of approximately $21.44 billion for this year as it grapples with lower global oil prices and costs associated with the fight against ISIL.