Iraq has launched a project to build 44 schools in the central Karbala Governorate within a 1,000-school scheme approved by the cabinet as per a landmark oil-for-projects agreement with China, the official Iraqi news agency said on Tuesday. 

It quoted Karbala Governor Naseef Al-Khatabi as saying the project is designed to cater for the growing number of students in the Governorate, adding that more schools would be constructed in the near future. 

“We have laid the foundation stone for the construction of 44 schools…we hope that our share of the agreement with China will include 130 schools,” he said, adding that such projects would bridge a gap in the number of schools in the province. 

Chinese companies signed an agreement with Iraq in 2021 to build at least 1,000 schools as part of the 2019 accord reached by the two countries allowing firms from the Southeast Asian giant to execute projects in Iraq in exchange for crude oil supplies.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)