Republic of Iraq is a parliamentary democracy that gained its independence on October 3, 1932. Iraq has borders with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Kuwait and the Gulf. It occupies an area of 437,072 Sq Km, with a diversified terrain with two major rivers, Euphrates and Tigris, which irrigate alluvial plains to mountains in the north and desert in the west. The country is administratively subdivided into 18 Governorates. In the north, the 3 Governorates in Kurdistan Region (Arbil, Duhok, Sulaymaniyah) are the only legally defined regions within Iraq, with its own government and quasi-official army. The remaining 15 Governorates are located in the southern part of Iraq.
The population of Iraq reached 38.9 million in 2018. Its GDP per capita has dropped from US$6,692 in 2012 to US$ 5,088 in 2018. During the past three decades, the people of Iraq have greatly suffered from UN sanctions, periodic wars, and protracted internal conflict. As a result, Iraq's human development indicators are now among the lowest in the region. It ranked 121 out of 188 as per the UNDP Human Development Report of 2016.