Baghdad has appointed accounting firm KPMG to audit financial movements surrounding a $10bn oil-for-infrastructure deal Iraq signed with China in 2019, MEES learns from a senior Iraqi government source.

Although the framework agreement became effective in October 2019, Baghdad opted to retain the cash proceeds from oil sales in 2020 rather than invest them in infrastructure development as the government struggled to make ends meet amid the oil price collapse. Only this year has Iraq begun fully utilizing the credit line following the passage of the 2021 budget in April, MEES understands (MEES, 9 April). (CONTINUED - 1893 WORDS)