The World Bank has been a strong partner to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries for over 40 years. Governments in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have mobilized the Bank’s global knowledge and development experience through technical assistance programs over the years. The World Bank offers these programs on reimbursable advisory services (RAS) upon government demand.
Activities in the Gulf encompass key areas in which the World Bank has expertise. Currently, the largest programs cover: economic management, financial sector reforms, private sector development, governance, transport, social protection and labor, and education.
The RAS portfolio in the GCC reflects the priorities of the Middle East and North Africa region strategy. Renewing the social contract in the Gulf includes moving away from capture and privileges, reducing the fiscal burden of energy subsidies and enhancing service delivery for infrastructure and social services. The Bank’s agenda in the GCC focuses on boosting the existing regional cooperation among the Gulf countries by facilitating energy trade, strengthening transport corridors, and integrating broad network infrastructure to promote inclusive growth. The Gulf has been instrumental in the recovery and reconstruction efforts for the region, which include partnerships with the Arab Development Fund and other unilateral foreign assistance funds such as the Kuwait Fund, Abu Dhabi Fund to leverage the financial support extended by the GCC countries to the Arab World.
The Bank also 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.
Supporting development efforts in the GCC has contributed to the Bank’s global experience in addressing development challenges in high and middle-income countries to deliver global public goods.
As of September 2016, the GCC program volume was over US$32 million. As the name implies, client countries cover all actual expenses of these Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS).
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, 2016