Iraqi security forces members ride vehicles during patrolling tour for the media at the oil fields in Basra, southeast of Baghdad

U.N SAYS TO HELP IRAQ TACKLE RAMPANT CORRUPTION

Iraqi security forces members ride vehicles during patrolling tour for the media at the oil fields in Basra, southeast of Baghdad

(Reuters) A United Nations agency said on Thursday it would help Iraq to tackle endemic graft that is eroding its economy and institutions as Baghdad struggles to defeat ISIL insurgents.

The U.N. Development Program will recruit international investigators to mentor and train Iraqi government auditors tasked with corruption investigations, it said in a statement released after a signing ceremony with the Iraqi government.

Oil-rich Iraq ranks 161st out of 168 nations in Transparency International’s Corruption Index.

Graft has exacerbated the effects on the economy of a sharp decline in oil revenue caused by falling crude prices and the costs of fighting ISIL, which has controlled large parts of northern and western Iraq since 2014.

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