World Bank Partners With IsDB to Help Plug Infrastructure Deficit in MENA

A signpost indicating distance to the Jordanian town of al-Azraq, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The World Bank and Islamic Development Bank established an initiative aimed at mobilizing as much as USD1 billion to back infrastructure projects in the Middle East and North Africa. Photo by: abbesses / CC BY-NC-SA abbessesCC BY-NC-SA

The World Bank and Islamic Development Bank is establishing a regional initiative that could mobilize as much as USD1 billion to support infrastructure projects in the Middle East and North Africa.

The initiative will back both conventional and Shariah-compliant investments in infrastructure. It will also render technical assistance to help governments address legal, policy and institutional constraints to public-private partnerships and develop cross-border infrastructure projects that are key to regional integration and competitiveness.

“This regional initiative will unlock new flows of private sector investment to help countries like Egypt, Morocco, Jordan or Tunisia eager to push ahead with critical infrastructure projects that will drive competitiveness and boost much needed job creation,” World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Oct. 9.

The MENA region needs between USD75 billion and USD100 billion in infrastructure investments each year to sustain economic growth and competitiveness, according to World Bank estimates.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.