EconSource: World Bank, Arab Monetary Fund to Finance Arab Regional Development

The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) on Friday signed an Enhanced Partnership Framework to support Arab countries in developing their economies and financial markets. The initiative will include collaboration on joint strategies to promote the development of financial markets and trade, support economic stabilization, and accelerate broad-based, inclusive economic growth and job creation. Meanwhile, the AMF and the International Monetary Fund pledged to deepen their cooperation to respond more effectively to the needs of their common membership. [Times of Oman, 4/19/2015]

Iraqi forces retake Baiji refinery from the Islamic State
Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes have cleared the country’s largest oil refinery of the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL), the international coalition helping Baghdad fight the militants said Sunday. ISIS has made repeated attempts over the past ten months to capture the Baiji refinery, most recently seizing parts of the facility and holding out for days. The refinery once produced some 300,000 barrels of refined products per day, meeting half the country’s needs. [AFP, 4/19/2015]

IMF downgrades UAE growth forecast, says Gulf governments must cut spending
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on Gulf governments to cut total public spending in response to lower oil prices as it again downgraded its growth forecast for the United Arab Emirates. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members must moderate spending to save resources and achieve a sustainable fiscal situation, the IMF said. The IMF cut its projections for UAE growth this year to 3.2 percent. According to the IMF, only Kuwait and Qatar are projected to avoid a budget deficit this year. [The National, 4/19/2015]

World Bank pledges five billion dollars to Tunisia
Tunisia will be granted 5 billion dollars in aid by the World Bank. The deal provides for 1 billion dollars each year over five years. The funds will assist several projects in Tunisia concerning decentralization and infrastructures, particularly roads. [ANSAmed, 4/20/2015]

Saudi Arabia pledges $274 million for relief work in Yemen
Saudi Arabia has issued an order to allocate $274 million for humanitarian relief work in Yemen through the United Nations. The order came after a UN appeal on Friday to provide emergency assistance to millions in Yemen. Meanwhile, the Saudi-Yemeni Business Council intends to invest SR18.7 billion in Yemen to revive the nation’s economy. [Economy Lead, 4/18/2015]

Also of interest
Saudi Arabia prioritizes investment to achieve growth | Al Arabiya
Saudi Arabia surges ahead of market opening to foreigners | Reuters
Egyptian economy to grow 4.5 percent in H2 of FY2014/15 | Ahram Online
Egypt central bank to hold rates after inflation pickup | Reuters
Egypt signs $400 million deal with World Bank to help poor families | Al Arabiya
Improving economic fundamentals boost Egypt’s banking outlook (analysis) | Gulf News