IFC plays a leading role in addressing the challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa by supporting private enterprise and encouraging economic development, a strategy designed to make life better for the 350 million people who call the region home.
Our investment and advisory teams work hand-in-hand to boost investor confidence, support smaller businesses, and promote women entrepreneurship, among a host of other important initiatives. Despite the recent events in many countries, our investments reached a record $2.9 billion during the last year, including $754 million in mobilization. We launched 27 advisory projects with a total value of $20.2 million.
To help boost investor confidence, IFC has made several high-impact investments across the region in the last year. These included a financing package of over $450 million for Egypt’s Orascom Construction, $137 million in debt financing for Jordan’s Hikma Pharmaceuticals, and a $50 million loan to Lafarge to help the firm expand its operations in Iraq.
Meanwhile, our work with BLC Bank Lebanon is helping expand access to finance for women entrepreneurs. We helped a business association in Alexandria, Egypt develop an index to assess the country’s business environment. We were the lead advisors for two flagship public-private partnership projects: one to build a new airport in Medina, Saudi Arabia and another to construct two teaching hospitals in northern Egypt.
Supporting infrastructure across the region continued to be a priority. We invested $742 million, including $295 million in mobilization, in a wide range of projects, helping build a hydro power station in Pakistan and expanding cellular coverage the West Bank and Gaza. We also launched the Arab Financing Facility for Infrastructure with the Islamic Development Bank to spur investments in major projects.
In Jordan and Tunisia, we launched the e4e Initiative for Arab Youth, a program designed to address youth unemployment by supporting private education and training young people for the evolving demands of the labor market.
We also stepped up our work in Iraq and Tunisia, opening new offices in both countries and placing senior staff members in Baghdad and Tunis.