The World Bank stated that availability of human, & natural resources made Iraq in the seventies the leading middle range developing country.
It developed infrastructure, education and health systems that it became the most advance Middle East countries in the eighties that the per capita income was then about $3600.
Wars and the centralised economy hindered economic growth and weakened the infrastructure, according to the Bank. It confirms however, that the severe economic blockade of the nineties destroyed the state and economy. Currently Iraq is among the least developed in the region.
The war on Iraq in 1991 destroyed it and relegated it to the 19th century (as promised by James Baker). It is now after the invasion, under enormous challenge because it needs social and economic rebuilding
Iraq has extensive natural resources including oil, Sulphur, Phosphate, Iron Cupper, etc. It has water resources, and fertile land. The human resources are among the highest in the region then.
Until the early nineties it was the fastest growing nation in the region. In the following decade and due to the invasion of Kuwait and the ensuing blockade in 1991, that progress was stopped.
Then Iraq was invaded and the state was destroyed referred to as “Liberation of Iraq”
• Pre occupation almost every village had electricity. Now Baghdad barely has three days of power. Iraq needs to spend US$ 27 Billion to improve supply and a further 20 – 30 US $Billion to have full capacity ( according to Ahmed Thamer Energy expert at the Ministry)
• Iraq needs to produce about 6 million Barrels per day of oil to meet the demand when it is producing barely 2. The 1990 – 2003 sanctions, USA and allies destroyed about US$ billion 40 -50 of oil assets alone. According to Thamer Ghadban of the Ministry of oil Iraq needs almost US$ billion 75 to recover.
• More than 500 academics, doctors, professionals have been assassinated
• Investment dropped to almost zero as a result of insecurity.
• Almost 2.5 million Children have no schooling.
Sabah Al-Mukhtar, President of the Arab Lawyers Association, living in London.