The joint visit to Iraq is part of a four-country tour that includes Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia, to deliver the broader message of global support for the region as it copes with conflict and instability. Kim noted the recent US$1.2 billion loan to help Iraq weather its financial crisis -- the Bank’s largest ever direct budget support in the region -- as evidence of the Bank’s commitment to the country and its people.
Over the past several months, the World Bank Group has reoriented its strategy in the MENA region to promote peace and stability as the necessary conditions for development. Working with partners, the aim is to focus directly on the causes of conflict, while helping countries address its consequences and to recover and rebuild. The new strategy is built on four main pillars:
- Restore trust between citizens and their governments with greater accountability and improved services,
- Promote increased regional cooperation around the shared priorities of education, energy and water,
- Support countries and communities hosting large numbers of refugees, to strengthen their resilience,
- Prepare for reconstruction whenever and wherever peace emerges.