Jericho, West Bank and Gaza, January
27, 2010─IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping raise awareness
among bank executives in West Bank and Gaza and across the Middle East
and North Africa about effectively managing risk to help them weather current
uncertainty in global financial markets and build stronger banking sectors.
IFC and the Palestine Monetary Authority today hosted a conference in Jericho
in the West Bank entitled “Managing Bank Risk in a Changing Environment.”
The conference was attended by senior bank executives operating in West
Bank and Gaza and provided a platform for participants to share experiences
on bank risk management in today’s rapidly-changing financial environment.
Topics covered by speakers included
managing liquidity, operational and credit risks and the importance of
improving corporate governance practices and managing risks in Islamic
Dr. Jihad Al-Wazir, Governor of the Palestine Monetary Authority, said,
“Given the uncertainty and heightened risk in global financial markets,
the Palestine Monetary Authority has issued different regulations directing
banks to enhance their internal control and risk management systems and
improve their capacity for formulating coherent business strategies with
sound underlying capital management for the purpose of maintaining a sound
and safe banking system.”
Youssef Habesch, IFC Country Officer for West Bank and Gaza, said, “Risk
management begins with awareness and realizing the important oversight
and monitoring role that board members must play. This conference provides
the opportunity to exchange views, ideas, predictions, and solutions."
IFC works closely with banks across the Middle East and North Africa to
help structure robust risk management systems and train bank staff on risk
management. IFC has supported risk management conferences in other regional
countries like Afghanistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, helping strengthen
banking practices in these markets.
As of June 2009, IFC had committed over $116 million of its own funds in
West Bank and Gaza. During fiscal year 2009, IFC committed over $46 million
in trade finance assistance to three banks and invested in two institutions.
IFC also recently signed an agreement with Bank of Palestine to strengthen
the bank’s risk management systems.
IFC is the largest international financial institution focused exclusively
on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging
markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase
to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing
countries—including by supporting stronger banking systems in the Middle
East and North Africa.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5
billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries
during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Palestine Monetary Authority
The Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) is the emerging Central Bank
of Palestine. Its overall purpose is to assist in the maintenance of the
stability and effectiveness of the Palestinian financial system, Promote
sustained economic and financial growth of the Palestinian economy by:
1. Effective and transparent regulation and supervision of banks operating
in the Palestinian Territories;
2. Development of monetary policy designed to achieve price stability;
3. Overseeing the implementation and operation of modern and efficient