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  • Publication
    Jordan Economic Monitor, Fall 2015: A Hiccup Amidst Sustained Resilience and Committed Reforms
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-10-01) World Bank
    The Jordan economic monitor provides an update on key economic developments and policies over the past six months. It also presents findings from recent World Bank work on Jordan. It places them in a longer-term and global context, and assesses the implications of these developments and other changes in policy for the outlook for the country. Its coverage ranges from the macro-economy to financial markets to indicators of human welfare and development. It is intended for a wide audience, including policy makers, business leaders, financial market participants, and the community of analysts and professionals engaged in Jordan.
  • Publication
    Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan - Development Policy Review : Improving Institutions, Fiscal Policies and Structural Reforms for Greater Growth Resilience and Sustained Job Creation (Vol. 1 of 2)
    (Washington, DC, 2012-06) World Bank
    Jordan's quest for long-term, inclusive and sustainable growth has remained largely elusive. By the Growth and Development Commission's measure of success, namely, an average growth rate of 7 percent over 30 years, Jordan's growth record cannot be dubbed 'successful'. This Development Policy Review (DPR) shows that sustaining growth and reducing unemployment is possible: Jordan has a strong human capital base, a large endowment in engineers, doctors, accountants, Information Technology (IT) specialists and a substantial highly-skilled diaspora (500,000 educated Jordanians abroad, 8 percent of the population). Furthermore, the market-oriented reforms of the early 2000s have made Jordan one of the most open economies in the Middle East and North Africa Region and have led to the emergence of dynamic non-traditional sectors (e.g., information and communication technologies, health tourism and business services). What is missing are: (i) an adequate and stable institutional framework for policymaking and long-term business development; (ii) good fiscal policies to manage shocks and maintain macroeconomic stability; good institutions and macroeconomic stability were identified by the growth commission as two of the five common characteristics of successful growth experiences; and (iii) further growth-enhancing structural reforms.
  • Publication
    Middle East and North Africa Economic Update, April 2010: Recovering from the Crisis
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-04-01) Ianchovichina, Elena; Mottaghi, Lili; Farazi, Subika; Silwal, Ani
    This edition of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional economic update concerns the region recovering from the financial crisis along with the global economy. Growth in 2010 is expected to be 4.4 percent region-wide, driven by domestic absorption as well as a positive contribution from external demand. The recovery from the crisis differs by country depending on initial conditions and the intensity of the impact via the three principal channels through which the global financial crisis affected MENA economies-the financial sector, the price of oil, and the balance of payments, reflecting the impact on trade, remittances and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are leading the regional recovery as oil prices have rebounded and the GCC financial sector is stabilizing. Developing oil exporters felt the impact of the crisis, and now the recovery, largely through the oil price channel, due to the limited integration of their banking sectors into global financial markets and the importance of oil in their exports. The oil importers were affected by the crisis through the secondary effects on trade, remittances, and FDI flows, so their recovery will depend crucially on the recovery in key markets, especially the EU and the GCC countries. High unemployment has been a problem in MENA for years, and the crisis has dimmed prospects for improvements in the near term. Ample oil and gas resources, a youthful and growing workforce, and a growing momentum to look for ways to diversify their economies imply that the growth potential of the region is high, but MENA countries continue to face formidable longer term challenges. Ensuring access to finance without compromising financial stability will be a major challenge in MENA, although issues related to weak regulatory systems, corporate governance and overdependence on the banking system also loom large. Key problems of the business environment in MENA include policy and regulatory uncertainty and discretion in implementing reforms which prevent a level playing field for all firms and encourage the pursuit of privileged access. These problems, coupled with barriers to entry and exit, have created an environment of stagnation. Addressing these issues will require applying rules and regulations consistently and without discrimination among firms and introducing reforms that promote business dynamism, private investment, and innovation.
  • Publication
    IFC Annual Report 2010 : Where Innovation Meets Impact, Volume 1. Main Report
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2010) International Finance Corporation
    More than 200 million people in the developing world were out of work this year. Over 1 billion are hungry, while millions more are confronting the threat that climate change poses. The United Nations estimates that 884 million people don't have safe drinking water and more than 2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation. The population of the developing world will expand by a third over the next four decades, growth that will strain already weak infrastructure. In this environment, International Finance Corporation (IFC) is innovating to create opportunity where it's needed most. IFC committed a record $18 billion in fiscal year 2010, $12.7 billion of which was for own account. We invested in 528 projects, an 18 percent increase from FY09. Advisory Services portfolio comprised 736 active projects valued at more than $850 million, with annual expenditures totaling $268 million. Countries served by the International Development Association, or IDA, accounted for nearly half our investments 255 projects totaling $4.9 billion and more than 60 percent of Advisory Services expenditures. Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 19 percent of our investment commitments and 25 percent of Advisory Services expenditures. The invested a record $1.64 billion in clean energy, leveraging $6.8 billion, while climate change related projects grew to 15 percent of the value of our Advisory Services portfolio. The investments in microfinance rose 10 percent to $400 million, expanding microfinance portfolio to $1.2 billion.
  • Publication
    The World Bank Annual Report 2006
    (Washington, DC, 2006) World Bank
    This World Bank Annual Report for FY2006 notes that the past year saw both progress and continued challenges in the global fight against poverty and inequality. The Report discusses the following topical highlights: Debt relief for the poorest countries; targeting development in Africa; addressing governance and anticorruption issues globally; improving partnerships with the international community; quick responses to potential avian flu outbreaks; and disaster relief. There were 112 IBRD projects totaling $14.1 billion. The top three sectors for lending were Law and Justice and Public Administration; Transportation; and Energy and Mining. As for IDA concessional lending, 167 projects totaled $9.5 billion. The top three Sectors were Law and Justice and Public Administration; Transportation; and Health and Other Social Services. Non-lending Activities comprises 307 technical assistance activities; and 601 economic and sector work products. There were 16 major evaluations by the Independent Evaluation Group reviewing the Bank's performance on a range of activities including country assistance, debt relief, development effectiveness, middle-income countries, post-disaster assistance, and trade. More than 150 publications were issued, including Global Development Finance 2006, Global Monitoring Report 2006, World Development Indicators 2006, and World Development Report 2006: Equity and Development. While country-led poverty reduction and national development strategies continued to be important mechanisms for defining country priorities and aid strategies, several additional issues moved to the forefront of the Bank's activities during fiscal 2006. These diverse issues included improving governance and accountability, implementing a new Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, expanding initiatives undertaken within the 2005 Africa Action Plan, developing a framework for middle-income countries, supporting agriculture in the poorest countries, cooperating with other international organizations to combat avian flu, searching for new approaches to deal with climate change, and strengthening partnerships to put in place a monitoring plan for the March 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. The Bank also responded to emergencies, including the October 2005 earthquake in northern Pakistan and the May 2006 earthquake in Indonesia.
  • Publication
    The World Bank in Iraq: Iraqi Ownership for Sustainability
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-06) Hadad-Zervos, Faris
    This paper examines the experiences of the World Bank Group in other countries, and explores its work in Iraq in light of its mandate and areas of impact. It outlines the objectives the Bank Group has sought to meet and the procedures used to adapt to the Iraqi context, while focusing on transparency, inclusiveness, and sustainability. While the Bank's current focus in Iraq is on reconstruction and essential services, the near term offers a chance to lay the groundwork for credible institutions of social inclusion, in addition to supporting sustainable reconstruction and reform. This paper looks at how Iraq, a country with ample natural and human capital, can look past the immediate needs of post-conflict reconstruction to an eventual return as a middle-income country that managed its own affairs and contributed assistance to other countries. Models for reconstruction are closely looked at as to how to move Iraq to country ownership. The paper also looks at how to adopt post conflict reconstruction experience and adapting it to Iraq. The final section of the paper deals with lessons of experience and lessons learned.
  • Publication
    Tunisia : Understanding Successful Socioeconomic Development, A Joint World Bank–Islamic Development Bank Evaluation of Assistance
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2005) World Bank; Islamic Development Bank
    Tunisia has successfully shifted from resource-based exports dominated by oil and gas to manufactures and services. The economy is now driven mainly by textile, electrical, mechanical, and food processing exports; tourism and related activities; and production of olives and cereals. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has been rising consistently, increasing from 3 percent annually over 1985-90 to more than 5 percent annually over 1996-02. Today, with a per capita income of US$2,000, Tunisians enjoy more than two-and-a-half times the real incomes that their parents had 30 years ago. Tunisia signed an association agreement with the European Union (EUAA) that provides for free trade in manufacturing by 2008. The European Union (EU) has been Tunisia's dominant trading partner; the region is the source of 67 percent of capital flows into Tunisia, accounts for a large share of Tunisia's tourism market, and is the region with the largest community of expatriate Tunisians. This dominance renders Tunisia's economy vulnerable to adverse developments in the EU.
  • Publication
    The World Bank Annual Report 2005: Year in Review, Volume 1
    (Washington, DC, 2005) World Bank
    This World Bank Annual Report highlights the focus of the Bank activities in addressing worldwide poverty, describing the Bank work in promoting sustainable, economic growth, and in channeling needed services to poor people. Also detailed is the Bank's work toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); its institutional and global efforts toward effective development; and, its outreach to clients through Public Information Centers, and on the Web. Regional Perspectives are reviewed, through a breakdown of the Bank's lending and activities across the developing world, featuring highlights of projects in borrowing countries within each of the Bank's six regions. The Summary of Fiscal Year Activities provides a description of the Bank's development knowledge-sharing over the fiscal year 2005; a discussion of the Bank's approach to lending in low income, and middle-income countries; the Bank's resources; and a summary of the Bank's lending by region, theme, and sector, such as environmental programs and infrastructure projects. This section also describes the Bank's partnerships with public, private, and civil society stakeholders. The fiscal 2005 financial statements, organizational information, income by region, new operations approved in fiscal 2005, and various lending data are included on a CD inserted inside the back cover of this report.
  • Publication
    International Finance Corporation 2000 Annual Report : Volume 1. Building Business, Creating Opportunity
    (Washington, DC, 2000-08) International Finance Corporation
    This is the International Finance Corporation (IFC) annual report for FY2000, which outlines its increased gross approvals, led by a record of new investments in Sub-Saharan Africa; the realization of its second-highest-ever annual net income; and, the significant resurgence in commercial bank lending through its syndications program. However, during the period IFC also felt the push of reformers, and critics, and the effects of a changing market place. Responsive to changing needs, IFC looks at how to bridge the digital divide which threatens the developing world; at ways to strengthen domestic financial markets; at how to address basic infrastructure; and, at how to improve access to health care and education, as well as how to improve environmental, and social sustainability. IFC's single largest sectoral focus remains the financial sector, which amounted to forty six percent of new approvals, though strategic priorities were further refined to align its activities with market realities, by building business, and creating job opportunities. Moreover, it has pioneered corporate environmental and social responsibility, by moving the private sector to actively promote economic development. IFC activities during FY2000 are presented, and, through case studies, shows the range of projects, by region and investment type. Finally, IFC's financial review describes performance, funding management, capital earnings, as well as risk management, and credit risk.
  • Publication
    The Challenge of Inclusion
    (World Bank, 1997-09-23) Wolfensohn, James D.
    This is the address to the Board of Governors, delivered by Mr. James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, in Hong Kong, China, on September 23, 1997. This year's core theme is the challenge of inclusion, bringing people into society who have never been part of it before, the main reason why the World Bank Group exists. On reviewing the state of development circa 1997: despite improved social indicators, the rapid rise in life expectancy levels, and freedom ascending, much still needs to be improved. In East Asia, inequities between rural, and urban areas, and between the skilled, and unskilled are becoming more widespread; in the countries of the former Soviet Union, the old, and unemployed are more vulnerable amidst the turbulence caused by the transition to market economies; in parts of Latin America, unequal access to education, and health care, and disparities in income hinder progress; and, in many of the poorest countries, population growth continues to run ahead of economic growth. Considering the challenge ahead, the message for countries is to educate "your" people; ensure their health; give them voice, and justice; strong financial systems; and, sound economic policies, recognizing the link between good economic performance, and open governance, to build the broad social consensus. The effectiveness of the development community lies in building inclusive partnerships, between the governments, and the people, involving bilateral, and multilateral assistance, as well as nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector, based on good policy environments, with a look at renewing strategies. The Bank's responsiveness to this challenge has been that of commitment to the quality of work; increased accountability to measure performance; and, improved dialogue with governments. Key strategic points of change are to mainstream social issues, increase capacity building, forge sustainable development in agriculture; promote private sector participation, and strengthen financial systems.