Paris, December 22, 2011—IFC, a
member of the World Bank Group, is providing a $50 million loan to cement
and construction materials supplier Lafarge to support the French company’s
cement subsidiary in northern Iraq and spur economic recovery in the post-conflict
IFC’s loan to Bazian Cement Company is supplemented by an additional $20
million loan by Proparco, a development financial institution funded by
private shareholders and the Agence Francaise de Développement.
As Iraq emerges from more than two decades of conflict, construction needs
are great, with large investments expected in key projects such as housing,
schools and roads. The loan will help increase the supply of quality cement
and reduce the acute domestic supply gap. IFC and Proparco also will work
with the company to implement an environmental and social strategy to help
align the company with international sustainability standards.
“This financing will help address the cement shortage that the country
urgently needs to build key infrastructure, and will play a catalytic role
in attracting other potential foreign investors into other sectors in Iraq,
increasing much-needed foreign direct investment into the country,” said
Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Vice President for Eastern and Southern Europe,
Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa.
This year, IFC has committed $2 billion worth of investments, including
mobilization, in the Middle East and North Africa. Many of those initiatives
are designed to spur economic development and promote investment in countries
whose economies have struggled in the wake of recent political developments.
Over the next three to four years IFC expects to invest up to $6 billion,
including $2 billion in mobilization, in the Middle East and North Africa.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing
advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital
in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty
across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental
performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving
our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information,
For more information about LaFarge, visit www.lafarge.com