EconSource: United Nations Seeks $8.4 Billion for Syrians

The United Nations is seeking $8.4 billion to help the millions of victims of the Syrian conflict in 2015. For the first time, the request at Berlin’s donor meeting included development aid for communities seeking refuge in neighboring countries. The demand for development aid represents  an acknowledgment that the crisis may last for many years and has seriously impacted the neighboring countries. [NYT, 12/18/2014]

Libya’s NOC insists it remains independent as production collapses
In a statement published by the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) in order to reassure international firms, the corporation reaffirmed that it remains independent from the conflict between the Thinni and the Hassi government. It also stressed that it is the only legitimate seller of Libyan oil and gas. Recent figures released by the NOC show that oil output has plunged by two-thirds, standing now at 330,000 bpd, due to the ongoing conflict between the two governments. [Libya Monitor (subscription), Libya Herald, 12/19/2014]

Morocco and EU want to conclude Win-Win DCFTA
According to EU Commissioner for Trade, Morocco and the EU have the common goal of concluding as soon as possible a Win-Win Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). Negotiations for the agreement have been ongoing since March 2013 in order to consider each party’s top priorities. The fifth round of talks was postponed in order for Morocco to conduct impact assessment studies for some sectors. [MAP, 12/18/2014]

United Nations defers Iraq’s Gulf War reparations to Kuwait
United Nations body agreed on Thursday to let Iraq postpone its final payment of reparations to Kuwait for the 1990-91 Gulf War, in an effort to help ease Baghdad’s cash-strapped budget. The consensus decision, reached by major powers at the UN Compensation Commission, means Iraq will have until January 2016 to begin paying its oil-rich neighbor $4.6 billion for oil fields destroyed during its invasion and seven-month occupation. [Reuters, Al-Manar, 12/18/2014]

Also of Interest:
The economic impact of the Syrian war and the spread of ISIS | The World Bank Blog
Implementation Algeria-EU Partnership Agreement | AllAfrica
Tunisian predicted growth rate both “realistic” and “cautious” | TAP (subscription)
Tunisia’s unemployment rate edges down to 15.2 percent | TAP (subscription)
To build an entrepreneurship ecosystem in Yemen | Yemen Times
Egypt signs first gas fracking contract with Apache, Shell | Ahram Online