Since January 2011, IFC has a committed a total of $5.9 billion in the Middle East and North Africa to support private sector development, help create jobs and drive sustainable growth across the region. During the 2013 fiscal year, IFC committed almost $3 billion in the region, a figure that includes $914 million mobilized from other investors. The organization also launched 34 advisory projects worth a total of $36.5 million.
Boosting Regional Integration Through South-South Investments
One of IFC’s strategic priorities is to help MENA companies expand into neighboring countries and other parts of the developing world. This allows industry-leading firms to transfer their knowledge and skills into new markets, creating jobs, boosting growth, and improving local standards.
IFC has facilitated around $5.8 billion worth of these regional South-South investments in the last decade, of which more than 60 percent have been with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) investors.
In fiscal year 2013, IFC supported around $500 million in regional investments, concentrated in infrastructure and primarily with GCC sponsors. This included $50 million in loans to Metito—a UAE-based utilities company—allowing it to fund water treatment projects in MENA, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia.
IFC also provided a $30 million loan to Gulftainer—a UAE-based port operator—to support its expansion into Iraq, and invested over $33 million in Moya, a Bahraini company that develops and invests in water desalination.
Other initiatives include supporting a $125 million investment in renewable energy in Turkey with ACWA, a Saudi Arabian company, and supporting TAQA, a UAE-based energy company, with its $133 million investment in TICO Ghana.
Increasing Access to Finance, Creating Jobs, and Supporting Inclusion
Last year, IFC focused on supporting small and medium enterprises and creating jobs, while working to empower female entrepreneurs. During 2013, IFC spearheaded a multi-donor facility to increase access to finance for micro, small and medium enterprises across MENA, in cooperation with the World Bank. IFC provided $150 million in financing and mobilized over $230 million from other international financial institutions.
IFC also made several large equity investments including $204 million in BCP in Morocco and $48 million in Amen Bank in Tunisia, to support access to finance for SMEs.
IFC committed over $1 billion in trade financing, which helps SMEs - through banks - enter new markets and trade across borders. Iraq’s UBI Bank was among several lenders to join IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program last year.
Supporting Fragile and Conflict-Affected States
The Middle East and North Africa is home to several fragile and conflict-affected states and IFC is stepping up its work in many of these countries, helping build a solid foundation for shared prosperity.
IFC supported Afghanistan’s telecom sector by providing $65 million in financing to telecom operator Roshan, to help the company expand cell phone and internet services in Afghanistan. In Iraq, IFC arranged a $65 million loan to the Iraqi subsidiary of cement maker Lafarge, an important boost for the local construction industry.
IFC's strategy in the region is to invest in several sectors, including:
IFC is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges.