The World Bank and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have been strong partners for over five decades. Governments in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have benefited from the Bank’s global knowledge and development experience through technical assistance programs offered by the World Bank on a reimbursable advisory services (RAS) basis.
Activities in the Gulf encompass key areas in which the World Bank has extensive global expertise. Currently, the largest programs cover long-term visioning and development planning, diversification, economic management, financial sector reforms, trade and competitiveness, private sector development, governance, transport, energy, urban planning, land management, social protection and labor, health, and education.
The RAS portfolio in the GCC reflects the priorities of the Bank’s Middle East and North Africa region strategy. Renewing the social contract in the Gulf through improving service delivery, reducing the fiscal burden of energy subsidies, promoting economic diversification, strengthening governance and enhancing the social protection system are key priorities in all GCC countries. The Bank’s agenda in the GCC supports efforts to facilitate energy trade, strengthen transport corridors, and integrate broad network infrastructure to promote inclusive growth. The Bank works with the GCC Secretariat General to address crosscutting issues, particularly in transport, environment, and regional integration across the six countries. Partnerships with GCC-affiliated institutions and bodies continue to flourish. The World Bank signed recently a Memorandum of Understanding with the Gulf Monetary Council (GMCO) for technical cooperation.
The GCC countries have been instrumental to the recovery and reconstruction efforts in the region. These efforts have been strengthened by existing partnerships with the Arab development funds and other multilateral and bilateral foreign assistance funds, such as the Islamic Development Bank, the Arab Monetary Fund, Saudi Fund for Development, Kuwait Fund, and Abu Dhabi Fund, aiming to leverage the financial support extended by the GCC countries to the Arab World. GCC countries have also supported the work of the International Development Association (IDA) over many years.
Supporting development efforts in the GCC has contributed to the Bank’s global experience in addressing development challenges in high and middle-income countries, thus helping to deliver global public goods. In fiscal year 2018, the GCC program volume is expected to be around US$40 million.
The GCC Department is managed through three offices: a regional office in Riyadh headed by a Country Director, a country office in Kuwait, and a program unit at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Last Updated: Oct 01, 2017