Sulaimani Governor Haval Abubakir announces on August 8, 2018, that the provinces of Halabja, Sulaimani, Erbil, and Duhok will receive heating oil starting on Thursday. Photo: Rudaw TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Iraqi government has agreed to send heating oil for all provinces of Kurdistan Region “on our request,” Haval Abubakir governor of Sulaimani province said on Wednesday.
“Starting from Thursday, five tanker trucks of heating oil will be sent to Sulaimani on daily basis, five to Erbil, three to Duhok, and two for Halabja province. This will continue until sufficient oil is provided to people,” Abubakir told Rudaw.
He said this decision follows his visit to Baghdad as a representative from the Kurdistan Region and as the governor of Sulaimani which was followed by two visits from two relevant Iraqi delegations to Sulaimani.
Kurdistan Region’s citizens have not been given their annual barrel of heating oil recently due to financial crisis. The Iraqi government stopped sending it after relations with KRG were harmed in 2014, following the KRG’s decision to export oil independent of Baghdad and the central government halting salaries for civil servants.
Kurdistan Region officials distribute the oil first to mountainous areas which border Iran due to low temperatures in winter. Some of these areas have been provided oil but even more rural areas have not received deliveries for nearly two years.
Abubakir said that they will first start with those people who did not receive the oil last year and then it will be distributed over bordering areas.
Baghdad and Erbil have worked to improve relations following the events of October 16. The Kurdistan Region received a 12.67-percent share of the federal budget — short of the desired 17 percent, but better than nil, which they had been receiving.
Iraq is in a highly politicized state as it works to form a new government. Protests over jobs, the petrodollar, and corruption spread from the southern cities in early July to the capital of Baghdad; however, such demonstrations did not reach the Kurdistan Region.