The article below originally appeared in Rudaw on March 11th, 2016.
The Kurdistan Region has received $200 million from Turkey as an emergency fund to help it deal with the shortfall in its budget brought on by damage to its pipeline from Kirkuk to Ceyhan.
“An emergency aid transfer has been sent to the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) this week. The pipeline was pumping 600,000 per day and the halt has deprived the KRG of an important source of revenue,” a source in the industry told Reuters on Friday.
Turkey blamed the bombing of the pipeline on the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and said on Thursday that its recent military operation against the group in the town of Idil in Sirnak province has enabled it to secure the pipeline. They consequently believe that it will take at least another week to repair it.
Erbil currently depends heavily on oil revenues to fund its enormous public sector work force. However the bombing of the pipeline in southeastern Turkey’s Kurdish-majority region, which is again mired in violence, saw the export of oil come to a standstill.
Indeed this outage has left the KRG with a mere $233 million for the month of February. This is less than one-third what is needed to cover its public sector expenses.
This adds to the woes of the region which has had to deal with the worldwide fall in the price of oil, the war against Islamic State and the influx of internal refugees seeking sanctuary and shelter.[Read more at Rudaw]