Press Releases

IFC Co-Hosts Conference to Support Infrastructure Development Across Middle East and North Africa

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +20 2 2461 423

In Washington:
Chrysoula Economopoulos
Phone: +1 202 4580945

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.

About IFC
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

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