WASHINGTON, D.C./CAIRO, June 10, 2004 —
The Private Enterprise Partnership for the Middle-East (PEP-ME), a
technical assistance program created, funded, and managed by the International
Finance Corporation, ended a three-day training workshop today in Amman,
Jordan, for 50 managers of – largely private - Iraqi banks.
IFC , the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, staged the workshop
to introduce state-of-the-art banking practices in Iraq, where access has
been highly constrained by its recent legacy of successive wars and international
economic sanctions. The PEP-ME workshop is a first but crucial step in
IFC’s strategy for Iraq of upgrading the technical and managerial capacity
of the financial sector to reinvigorate private sector development and
The training program of the workshop was designed for senior managers of
private-sector and public sector banks, including heads of risk management
units, retail banking, marketing and auditing offices. The five modules
of the PEP-ME workshop were delivered in Arabic, and addressed topics such
as credit risk management, asset-liability management, strategic planning,
foreign risk management and marketing.
Sami Haddad, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said “This
is the first project in the region by PEP-ME. I am pleased that IFC is
contributing to building the managerial and technical capacity of Iraqi
banks by providing this training workshop.”
A training needs assessment session was carried out on the last day of
the workshop by IFC to help identify the further training needs of Iraqi
banks. The workshop was organized in collaboration with the Arab Academy
for Banking and Financial Services, while the Iraq Bankers’ Association
played a key role in bringing the representatives of Iraqi banks together.
Note to Editors: The Private Enterprise Partnership for the Middle
East (PEP-ME), with start-up funding of $10 million from IFC, provides
technical assistance to Afghanistan, Iraq, West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen.
PEP-ME focuses its technical assistance in those countries on improving
the business and regulatory environment, strengthening financial institutions
and markets, stimulating the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises,
and assisting in the restructuring and privatization of state-owned enterprises.
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37
billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.