Iraqi officials will travel to Amman in late September to finalise terms for a $500m loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction & Development.

The bank approved the deal in March but the Iraqis have yet to get any money because they have not attached it to any specific projects. The loan will carry annual interest of 1 per cent and Baghdad must agree to spend the money on agreed redevelopment work (MEED 25:6:09).

The World Bank has arranged $1bn worth of loans for Baghdad since the US-led invasion in 2003.

The latest annual meeting of the World Bank Iraq Trust Fund, in February, reported that although Baghdad has made progress, “the technical capacity of staff to evaluate and approve projects has eroded”.