Our investments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) reached $1.5 billion in FY11, covering 49 projects in 14 countries. IFC played an important role in mobilizing funds from other investors – with close to $800 million mobilized in MENA. Investments targeting the region’s poorest countries totaled $718 million in 22 projects.
Infrastructure & Natural Resources, and Climate Change
IFC helped launch a World Bank Group project that, in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank, will establish a regional initiative to raise up to $1 billion to help improve and develop infrastructure in MENA, as weak transportation, water and utility services hinder both economic and social progress.
To stimulate cross-border investment and increase flows of foreign direct investment, IFC helped finance a number of high-profile transactions such as supporting regional telecommunications companies Zain Group and Wataniya expand in Iraq and West Bank and Gaza, respectively.
IFC invested almost $1 billion in 37 projects, of which $711 million was provided through the Global Trade Finance Program to facilitate cross-border trade and economic ties. IFC invested $290 million in Ahli United Bank ($97 million from IFC's own account and $193 million in mobilization) to support AUB's cross-border expansion into Egypt, Iraq, and other countries and increase lending to small businesses. A $3 million loan supported Faten, a microfinance lender in West Bank and Gaza. IFC Advisory Services also worked to create better access to finance for the underserved by supporting Bank of Palestine and Banque Libano Francaise to shore up their corporate governance, risk management, and sustainability practices and help them better serve small businesses.
IFC's strategy in the region is to invest in several sectors, including:
IFC is the world’s largest multilateral investor in the private sector in emerging markets. The Corporation invests in private companies in emerging economies to promote growth, help reduce poverty, and improve people’s lives.