IMF, World Bank & IFI Round-Up

The World Bank wants to breathe life back into a mooted USD 10 billion-plus fund to combat climate change which would need public and private sector backing, its Chief Scientist Robert Watson told Reuters. Tackling climate change is in many ways an energy problem - and there are big up-front costs to install the energy saving kit and other technologies that would curb emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels. Developing countries especially need to clean up - or de-carbonize - their energy, given their emissions are seen overtaking rich nations soon after 2010, and because they are installing huge new capacity to power their breakneck growth. Funding for poor countries now includes the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which has 30-plus donor countries, and carbon-trading under the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, but these are not nearly enough, said Watson.

The Broader Middle East North Africa region recorded the world’s fastest growth in foreign direct investment during 2005, according to the latest “World Investment Report.” And the United Arab Emirates led the way by attracting more than USD 12 billion - up 40 percent on the previous years. The figures were revealed at Feb. 21’s Broader MENA Investment Summit at Dubai International Financial Centre by Abdel-Rahman Taha, General Manager of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group. ICIEC is co-organizing the summit with the World Bank Group’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), in association with Dubai International Financial Centre.

Mali, Africa’s third biggest gold producer, on Monday formally joined a World Bank-backed initiative that seeks to improve transparency in the management of mining contracts and other natural resource industries. Mines, Energy and Water Minister Hamed Diane Semega announced the West African state’s adhesion to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the presence of representatives of the World Bank and other international organizations. The EITI was launched by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2002. It sets out guidelines for developing countries to improve the handling of income from their oil, gas and mineral reserves, to ensure these are properly used to foster economic growth and reduce poverty.

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