EBRD coordinates IFI help for SEMED countries

By Nibal Zgheib

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) hosted its first meeting as chair of the Deauville Partnership IFI (International Financial Institution) Coordination Platform, taking over the rotating chairmanship from the Islamic Development Bank.

During the meeting, the IFI Coordination Platform members, which include IFIs active in the region, discussed the overall objectives of the Deauville Partnership. They also looked at how the resources of the IFI’s, G8 donors and Gulf partners could be combined to increase financial flows, spur growth and job creation and move transition forward.

As chair, the EBRD intends to focus the work of the IFI Coordination Platform on aligning policy messages, promoting structural reforms and improvements in the business climate, facilitating joint investment and technical assistance projects in the Arab transition countries and enhancing cooperation with Gulf partners and Arab donor funds.

EBRD Managing Director Alan Rousso, who is Head of the Secretariat, said: “The EBRD is committed to giving high-level attention to the work of this Platform, which is an important tool to support transition efforts in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) countries.”

The Platform expects to work closely with the current G8 President, Russia, which sent a delegation from the Ministry of Finance to the IFI meeting in London. The Russian agenda for the Deauville Partnership in 2014 focuses on job creation and addressing youth unemployment, enhancing women’s economic participation and financial inclusion, developing local currency markets, mobilising domestic resources and strengthening public financial management.

The IFI Coordination Platform brings together the major IFIs active in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. These include the African Development Bank, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Arab Monetary Fund, the EBRD, the European Investment Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, the OPEC Fund for International Development, the World Bank, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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The Deauville Partnership with Arab countries in Transition was created at the G8 Summit in May 2011 in France. It aims to support democratic transition, transparent governance and inclusive growth in the Arab countries in transition – Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen.

The MENA Transition Fund, launched under the US G8 Presidency, is one of the important achievements of the Deauville Partnership. The Fund supports reform-oriented projects with a view to promoting better governance, sustainable growth and better employment opportunities for women and youth.