The World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Jean-Louis Sarbib, has outlined the vital economic and social role the World Bank plays in the region during his first visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In 2002 the World Bank provided the MENA region with $590 million in development assistance.
The visit by Sarbib is one of many the World Bank Group is making to Dubai as the countdown continues to September 2003 when the annual gathering of the world’s financial community, the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, will take place in an Arab City for the very first time.
During the visit to the UAE hosted by Dubai 2003, Sarbib outlined the importance the World Bank attaches to helping the countries of the MENA region to meet the challenge of providing jobs for a young and increasingly educated population.
Addressing a media briefing Sarbib explained that, although each country faces a specific situation, five challenges are common throughout the MENA region; private sector development and employment, public sector efficiency and governance, education for a global world through helping individuals to compete better in the global marketplace, gender and strengthening the prospects for women’s role and participation in public life and sustainable management of water resources in the world’s most water stressed region.
Throughout the Gulf, the World Bank has also given valuable “reimbursable technical assistance” to a number of countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain. In Kuwait and Bahrain the World Bank has also provided expert advice on the challenge of privatization.
The Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund were first held in Washington in 1946. They are hosted by an international city, other than Washington, one year in three. Dubai and the UAE were selected because of its highly developed transportation and logistics infrastructure, growing importance as a financial hub and its established position as an oasis of opportunity. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )