Marrakesh, Morocco, April 15, 2012—
IFC, the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank are hosting
a high-level conference on infrastructure development in the Middle East
and North Africa, part of an effort to support the building of roads, ports
and other major projects across the region.
Government ministers, business executives
and members of non-governmental organizations are attending the gathering
from April 16-17 where they will discuss the Arab Financing Facility for
Infrastructure (AFFI). Launched in 2011, the initiative is designed to
channel resources and expertise into the construction of cross-border infrastructure
projects and support partnerships between governments and the private sector.
"Governments in the region are
facing challenges when it comes to financing major infrastructure projects,”
said Gulrez Hoda, IFC Director for Infrastructure for Europe, the Middle
East and North Africa. “But several recent successes have shown that the
private sector can play a pivotal role in helping deliver essential services
to the people of the region."
States across the Middle East and North
Africa will need to spend a combined $70 billion a year on infrastructure
over the next decade to keep pace with their rapidly growing populations.
“The high-level interest in this policy
forum indicates a deep recognition that much more needs to be done on infrastructure
in the Arab World, and fast,” said Raymond Bordeaux, Facility Manager
at the World Bank.
The AFFI, a joint partnership between
the World Bank, IFC and the Islamic Development Bank, aims to foster infrastructure
development and regional dialogue in Arab countries. It offers financial
support and technical expertise to projects that focus on water, waste,
power, transport, healthcare, education and information technology. It
also encourages public-private partnerships in infrastructure development.
The AFFI is part of IFC's efforts in
the Middle East and North Africa to support economic development during
a time of change. Since January 2011, IFC has channeled over $2 billion
into the region, including mobilization.
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, visit www.ifc.org.