Iraq: US$5 billion more added to budget from oil revenues

Increased oil revenue will allow Iraq to add US$5 billion to its 2008 budget, money earmarked for investment in infrastructure and services, a government spokesman said Monday. Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement the additional funds will be included in a complementary budget to be issued by the end of June. The money will be used for "important" and "strategic" investment, he said. The funds will be tacked onto US$15 billion that was already planned for economic and infrastructure development in Iraq's budget, which stands at US$48.4 billion, not including the latest addition of US$5 billion. Security, it has been noted, must come before any hope for an economic upturn. Several reconstruction projects in the country have been halted or delayed because of deteriorating security situations.