The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced Monday that it will establish its Middle East Regional Technical Assistance Center (METAC) in Beirut, Lebanon, to provide technical assistance and training to countries in the region.
METAC is a collaborative effort between the IMF and a number of bilateral and multilateral donors. The Government of Lebanon will provide significant support for the Center's activities.
"The IMF wishes to express its appreciation to the Lebanese Government for hosting and supporting the Center," IMF Deputy Managing Director Agustín Carstens stated.
METAC, which is expected to start operations in late autumn 2004, will provide technical assistance and training services to Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen.
METAC's main objective will be to help strengthen capacity for effective macroeconomic and financial management. By providing targeted capacity building, METAC will focus particularly on helping the post-conflict countries in the region foster macro-economic stability and develop basic institutions for policy-making.
Technical assistance provided by METAC will fall largely in the IMF's main areas of expertise, including macroeconomic policy, tax policy and revenue administration, public expenditure management, financial sector issues, and macroeconomic statistics. Technical assistance will be provided by a team of IMF experts assigned to METAC, and supplemented by short-term specialists contracted to provide targeted advice and training. The assistance will mainly take the form of in-country workshops, training assignments to institutions associated with IMF member countries, and regional training courses. (menareport.com)
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