By John Lee.
World Bank Group support for Iraq over the next four years will focus on job creation, social inclusion and building stronger institutions. The Country Partnership Strategy which was discussed today by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors is a four-year engagement framework with a planned US$900 million in support to Iraq.
The strategy will assist Iraq in managing its own resources more efficiently and effectively and will promote the diversification of the economy and private sector growth, for the benefit of all citizens.
“Iraq is opening a new chapter in its long and deep history,” said Ferid Belhaj (pictured), World Bank Country Director for Iraq, Syria, Iran, Lebanon and Jordan. “This is a chapter where the people come first and where the immense human potential of the country, its vast natural resources and its strategic location will be central to its socio-economic recovery."
The strategy was designed with the Government of Iraq, based on consultations with various stakeholders, including local and regional governments, private sector, civil society groups, academics and the donor community. Key messages emerging from the discussion pointed to the need to diversify the economy, strengthen institutions and improve delivery of basic services for the population.