New Vice President for MENA Announced by World Bank

Published July 2nd, 2018 - 10:26 GMT
Ferid Belhaj new Vice President for the region at the World Bank.
Ferid Belhaj new Vice President for the region at the World Bank.

Middle East and North Africa expert Ferid Belhaj is starting his new post this week in Beirut as vice president for the region at the World Bank, the group announced over the weekend.

Until last week, Belhaj, a Tunisian national, served as chief of staff of the World Bank Group’s president. From 2012 to 2017, he was World Bank director for the Middle East, in charge of work programs in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Iran.

In the role, he worked on the Syrian refugee crisis and its impact on the region. This included creating financing instruments to help host countries, ramping up the bank’s drive toward the reconstruction and recovery of Iraq during and after the Daesh (ISIS) occupation and scaling up the Bank’s commitments to Lebanon and Jordan.

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Before that, Belhaj served as World Bank director for the Pacific Department (2009-12). There, he developed a regional strategy that scaled up bank engagement in small and fragile states and tripled lending operations of the International Development Agency – one of the five institutions under the umbrella of the World Bank Group that provides interest-free loans and grants for low-income countries.

From 2007 to 2010, Belhaj was the World Bank’s special representative to the United Nations in New York, where he worked with U.N. agencies on a range of programs, mainly climate change, the Millennium Development Goals, fragile and post-conflict states and the global financial and food crises.


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