Cairo, Egypt, September 11, 2017—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, stepped up its investments in the Middle
East and North Africa (MENA) last fiscal year, committing $1.7 billion
to support the region’s private sector, boost innovation, drive economic
growth, and create jobs.
During fiscal year 2017, which ended
June 30, IFC provided over $1.7 billion including mobilization in financing,
an increase of around 30 percent compared with the previous year. In fiscal
year 2016, IFC committed $1.3 billion in MENA, including $331 million in
IFC’s focus was on creating new markets,
supporting power and renewable energy projects, and fostering entrepreneurs,
including those who run high-potential technology start-ups. IFC also worked
to increase economic opportunities in countries like Lebanon and Jordan
hosting large refugee populations.
“MENA is a region full of potential,”
said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“But long-standing problems like power shortages, youth unemployment,
and restricted access to finance continue to hold back economic growth.
To overcome these hurdles, countries need to support the development of
their private sectors, which are a potentially bountiful source of jobs
As part of a bold new strategy to support
MENA start-ups, IFC invested over $11 million in two Egyptian start-up
Ventures and Flat6Labs.
IFC also supported Network International, a leading provider of payment
solutions, to expand the payment infrastructure in the Middle East and
Among other key projects over the last
fiscal year, IFC invested to support the construction of a new gas-fired
power plant in Jordan. The facility will be one of Jordan's most efficient
and help the country phase out older, more polluting plants.
IFC also made its first green bond investment
in MENA, committing 100 million euro in a bond issuance by Banque Centrale
Populaire (BCP), the first such issuance in foreign currency in Morocco.
The aim is to help create a sustainable financing mechanism for banks to
support long-term investments in green assets.
IFC also runs a large advisory services
program in the region, which had 94 active projects valued at over $125
million by the end of the fiscal year. That work is focused on supporting
refugees, bolstering infrastructure development, especially in conflict-affected
states, reducing gender inequality, expanding access to finance for smaller
businesses, and combating climate change.
In the coming fiscal year, IFC plans
to maintain its strategic focus on creating new markets across MENA by
supporting the region’s fast-growing renewable energy sector and helping
young entrepreneurs deliver innovations.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working
with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise,
and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas
of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term
financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private
sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information,