IFC Commits $1.3 Billion in MENA to Fight Poverty, Boost Shared Prosperity
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, committed over $1.3 billion in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) last fiscal year, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, improve local infrastructure, and spur economic growth in countries from Morocco to Afghanistan.
During fiscal year 2016, which ended in June, IFC worked on addressing the fundamental barriers to economic development in the region through a range of investments and advisory projects. IFC committed $1.3 billion in MENA, including $331 million mobilized from other investors. The organization also launched 20 new projects to advise both governments and private businesses on issues ranging from regulatory reform, to corporate governance, to dispute resolution.
“From a political and economic standpoint, it has been a challenging year for many countries in the region,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “But MENA has tremendous long-term potential and by tapping into the creative force of the private sector, we can help create jobs, support infrastructure, and bring sustainable growth to the region.”
Last fiscal year, IFC’s work focused on promoting gender equality, supporting states affected by conflict, bolstering local infrastructure, especially power supplies, combating climate change, and expanding access to finance for smaller businesses.
Among other projects, IFC arranged a landmark $375 million financing package for Iraqi power company Mass Global Energy Sulimaniya, helping to increase access to energy for 3 million people in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. IFC also provided $74 million in loans to Jordan’s Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, helping the company build a 50-megawatt solar power plant north of Amman.
IFC worked to extend access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises, the backbone of most regional economies. The organization provided a $100 million loan to Egypt’s Arab African International Bank and $75 million to the National Bank of Kuwait-Egypt, helping the firms scale up their lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). IFC also invested $10 million in Afghanistan International Bank, helping it reach out to SME borrowers, and provided a loan to Lebanese micro-lender Al Majmoua, helping it provide financing for entrepreneurs, including women, in rural areas of the country.
In the coming fiscal year, IFC plans to maintain its strategic focus on areas with the greatest developmental needs, such as power (including renewable energy), access to finance, and skills development.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org