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IFC Helps Banks Cope with the Crisis in Yemen

In Washington, D.C.:
Lotte Pang
Phone: +1 202 758-4290
In Cairo:

Riham Mustafa
Phone: +202 24 619 140
Fax: +202 24 619 145

Sana’a, Yemen, March 10, 2009 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping raise awareness among banks and bank executives in Yemen and across the Middle East and North Africa about better understanding and managing risk amid the unfolding global financial crisis.

IFC and the Yemen Banks Association (YBA) jointly organized a conference in Sana’a, Yemen, entitled “Bank Risk Management in a Changing Environment”. The conference, held today, brought together senior Yemeni bank officials and IFC experts, who discussed how Yemen’s banks can build robust risk management systems and processes.

President of the Yemen Banks Association, Ahmed Al-Khawi, said: “IFC’s support comes at the right time, as the world witnesses a severe credit crisis. We are in desperate need for such assistance, which we hope will be the beginning of long-term support that will make our banks better prepared to face the crisis,” said Ahmed Al-Khawi, head of the Yemen Banks Association.

Governor of the Central Bank of Yemen, Ahmed Al-Samawi, said: “It is the best time for IFC and the Yemen Banks Association to organize a risk management conference, as the global financial crisis has changed all stereotypes, especially the belief that developed countries are safe from credit crisis.”

Topics discussed during the conference, which supplemented efforts by Yemen’s Central Bank to strengthen risk management practices in the banking sector, included operational models for designing and deploying an effective risk management structure and the types of risk that banks must face on a recurring basis.    

IFC is working closely with banks across the Middle East and North Africa region to help them structure robust risk management systems and training key bank staff on risk management.

James Gohary, IFC Senior Operations Manager for Financial Markets in Middle East and North Africa, said: “We, at IFC, are helping these banks by sharing views and solutions so they can successfully navigate the current crisis.”

In January 2009, IFC and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development launched a three-year program to support Yemen’s efforts to improve its overall business environment, with the goal of creating jobs and reducing poverty in the country.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, please visit

About YBA

The Yemen Banks Association tries to promote better banking services and exchange of information and experiences to help developing the banking sector in Yemen. It also studies credit, and foreign exchange-related problems, and propose solutions for them.