ERBIL — Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani demanded the international community provide the Kurdistan Region with humanitarian, military and financial aid in a meeting with Anniken Huitfeldt, the chair of the Norwegian Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense.
Barzani discussed the issue of Iraq’s federal budget, the KRG’s official website reported on Wednesday (March 2). The Iraqi federal government cut the Kurdistan Region’s share of the budget in 2014, worsening the financial crisis in the region.
The salaries of public employees in the Kurdistan Region have been plagued by chronic delays since 2014 when a dispute between Baghdad and Erbil saw the KRG’s share of the federal budget suspended. Kurdish authorities are struggling to pay wages as civil servants hold demonstrations and strikes.
The KRG Prime Minister additionally discussed the Kurdistan Region’s internal issues with Norwegian Parliament members and requested assistance in resolving the crises affecting the region.
The Norwegian delegation reiterated its support for the Peshmerga forces saying it will continue to assist in the training of Peshmerga in the fight against the Islamic State (IS), the KRG said.
The KRG says it is unable to earn enough revenue to cover its spending due to oil prices sinking to levels unseen in the past decade.
International economic experts from the U.S. and several European countries are expected to provide financial advice and assistance to the KRG in an effort to manage the crisis.