World Bank Group, United Nations, and Islamic Development Bank Pledge Support for Stability in Middle East and North Africa
Beirut, March 24, 2016 — World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President of the Islamic Development Bank Group Dr. Mohamed Ali Al-Madani arrived in Lebanon today at the start of a joint visit to rally global support for the shared responsibility of promoting peace and development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The three organizations are jointly supporting an initiative to raise additional financing needed to help countries in the region cope with the immediate consequences of conflict, while laying the foundations for recovery and reconstruction.
With the Syrian conflict entering its sixth year, and the region coping with one of the largest refugee crises since World War II, all three leaders pledged to work closely together in the region. The three organizations recently launched the New Financing Initiative to Support the MENA Region aimed at uniting the international community for the level of support required to meet the region’s immense challenges. Through innovative financing, the initiative plans to provide concessional financing to Lebanon and Jordan –both middle-income countries hosting large numbers of refugees — and to expand the funding available to countries struggling with slow growth and high youth unemployment because of instability.
At the Supporting Syria and the Region conference that took place in February in London, the World Bank Group announced that it will triple its investment in the region as compared to the previous five years. Funding from the New Financing Initiative to Support the MENA Region combined with current programs is expected to total about US$20 billion over the coming five years.
In addition, in response to the current crisis, the Bank will announce $200 million in new financing during the trip to support education and create jobs. This will come in addition to the current more than $1.5 billion of Bank commitments in the two countries, as well as the scaling up of financial support to Iraq, which has now reached $2 billion and which is projected to equal $5 billion in the coming few years.