Press Releases

IFC Supports Private-Sector Development Across Middle East and North Africa

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +20 2461 4230

Cairo, Egypt, July 22, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has marked the end of its 2012 fiscal year which saw the organization play a leading role in addressing the challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa.

Our investment and advisory teams worked hand-in-hand to boost investor confidence, support smaller businesses, and promote women entrepreneurship, among a host of other important initiatives. Despite the recent events in many countries, our investments reached a record $2.9 billion during the last year, including $754 million in mobilization. We launched 27 advisory projects with a total value of $20.2 million.

“The public sector can no longer be the main provider of jobs in the region it is therefore critical that private-sector-led growth is promoted.,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa “With some help, private enterprises have the potential to drive economic growth, making life better for the people of the region.”

To help boost investor confidence, IFC made several high impact and confidence boosting major investments across the region. These included a financing package of over $450 million for Egypt’s Orascom Construction, $137 million in debt financing for Jordan’s Hikma pharmaceuticals, and a $50 million loan to Lafarge to help the firm expand its operations in Iraq, among others.

Meanwhile, our work with BLC Bank Lebanon is helping expand access to finance for women entrepreneurs.  We helped a business association in Alexandria, Egypt develop an index to assess the country’s business environment.  We were the lead advisors for two flag ship public private partnership projects one to build a new airport in Medina, Saudi Arabia and another to construct two teaching hospitals in northern Egypt.

Supporting infrastructure across the region continued to be a priority. We invested $742 million, including $295 million in mobilization, in a wide range of projects, helping build a hydro power station in Pakistan and expanding cellular coverage in Palestine. We also launched the Arab Financing Facility for Infrastructure with the Islamic Development Bank to spur investments in major projects.

In Jordan and Tunisia, we launched the e4e Initiative for Arab Youth, a program designed to address youth unemployment by supporting private education and training young people for the evolving demands of the labor market.

We also stepped up our work in Iraq and Tunisia, opening new offices in both countries and placing senior staff members in Baghdad and Tunis.

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