There is currently no Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Iran. The last Interim Assistance Strategy which covered the period 2002-2003 was extended through 2005. No new World Bank loans to Iran have been approved since 2005 and all projects have closed.
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The first chapter offers an overview of the evidence that the period from before birth to age five is the most important stage of human development. This period is especially crucial as deficits at th... Show More +is early stage tend to be irreversible and to perpetuate cycles of poverty and inequality. The many dimensions of healthy ECD, from proper healthcare and nutrition to early development activities, are identified along with the range of related indicators used to measure the state of ECD in the region.Chapter 2 offers a comparison with other regions of the world, for a better understanding of the state of ECD in MENA,. The twelve countries of the region are also compared, to establish benchmarks and identify country-specific deficits in ECD. The chapter includes an analysis of the factors that influence ECD, as there is significant inequality of access to key development activities even in the region’s more developed countries.Chapter 3 shows that economic growth alone will not address the many shortfalls in the region’s ECD. Targeted interventions are needed. The chapter provides a way forward with a number of approaches from around the world that have been implemented successfully and which would benefit children in MENA.Chapter 4 offers an overview of ECD in Algeria which has achieved good immunization rates but has high rates of stunting due to malnutrition, and where a child’s social and economic background influences the chances of healthy development.Chapter 5 offers an overview of ECD in Djibouti where prenatal and delivery care is now almost universal but child mortality rates are still high and less than one third of children are fully immunized by the age of one.Chapter 6 offers an overview of ECD in Egypt where stunting is a major and persistent problem and disadvantaged children are the least likely to benefit from early schooling, although immunization rates have reached 92%.Chapter 7 offers an overview of ECD in Iraq where only half of children are receiving regular prenatal care, less than two-thirds are fully immunized and access to key development activities is closely related to social and economic background.Chapter 8 offers an overview of ECD in Jordan which has achieved near universal coverage for prenatal and neonatal care, and while rates for stunting are low there is large variation in nutrition status, with a child from the poorest segment of society seven times as likely to be stunted as a child from the richest.Chapter 9 offers an overview of ECD in Lebanon which has also achieved near universal coverage for prenatal and neonatal care but where only half of all children are fully immunized by age one and poorer children are more likely to be stunted.Chapter 10 offers an overview of ECD in Libya before the current crisis, where 87% of all children were fully immunized but only half had access to iodized salt, essential for cognitive development, and more than one fifth were stunted.Chapter 11 offers an overview of ECD in Morocco where 90% of children are fully immunized but almost one third are stunted and deaths in the first month and year of life are above regional averages, with the poorest children facing greater risk of death.Chapter 12 offers an overview of ECD in Syria before the current crisis, where 96% of births were assisted by a skilled attendant but only 78% of one-year-olds were fully immunized and over one quarter of all children were stunted.Chapter 13 offers an overview of ECD in Tunisia which has achieved near universal prenatal and delivery care and early mortality has fallen below regional averages, but children in rural areas have one third the chance of urban children to attend early education and 22% of children aged 5 are engaged in child labor.Chapter 14 offers an overview of ECD in the West Bank and Gaza which has achieved near universal coverage for prenatal and delivery care but stunting remains a persistent problem and there are large differences in access to early care and education between advantaged and disadvantaged children. Chapter 15 offers an overview of ECD in Yemen before the current crisis where less than half of all births received prenatal care and children were more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday (7%) as they were to attend early childhood education (3%). Show Less -
Part I (Chapters 1 – 3) asks the question: Why does service delivery fall short of potential in the MENA region? In answering the question, the report provides a review of the region’s impressive achi... Show More +evements over the last five years of expanding access to basic education and health services and improving core human development outcomes, while highlighting the remaining challenge of poor service quality and citizens’ dissatisfaction. The conclusion is that a cycle of poor performance has emerged in much of the region as a result of state institutions lacking both internal and external accountability mechanisms. Chapter 3 demonstrates that cycles are alterable. It provides examples of virtuous cycles in the region that have developed at the local level (even in context of a poor performance at the national level) when local stakeholders are driven by individual will or social obligations to take initiatives.Part II (Chapters 4 – 5) chapter 4 explains how historical experience has led citizens to value health and education, fostered their dependence on the state, and has limited state responsiveness. Chapter 5 provides a detailed picture of the political, administrative, and social institutions that affect service delivery.Part III (Chapters 6 -7) offers an analysis of performance at the point of service delivery. It explores the efforts of teachers and health professionals in relation to their access to resources and the influence of institutions. Chapter 6 focuses on the national level, with chapter 7 identifying the extent of subnational variation in service delivery performance. The study of subnational variations underscores that local successes exist and that much about service delivery challenges and possible solutions can be learned in local contexts.Part IV (Chapters 8 – 9) completes the cycle of performance with an analysis of how institutions and performance affect citizens’ perceptions of the state and the nature of citizen action vis-à-vis the state. Chapter 8 shows how performance influences citizens’ trust in the state, with chapter 9 tracing that trust in turn shapes the nature of citizens’ engagement at both the local and national levels.Part V (Chapters 10 – 12) emphasizes the need to build on evidence of local successes and on positive trends that buck the cycle of generally poor performance, as bases for encouragement and action for citizens, civil servants, policy makers, and donors. Chapter 10 discusses the opportunities that crises offer to national and local leaders to reform institutions and accountability mechanisms, and boost citizen trust. Chapter 11 focuses on the role donors can play in supporting reforms, in the absence of major disruptions, by promoting the right incentives. Chapter 12 offer yet another scenario for incremental institutional reforms driven by reform coalitions in society and government. Show Less -
The over-50% decline in world oil prices—from US$115 a barrel in June 2014 to less than US$50 today—will have significant consequences for the economies of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regi... Show More +on. This report titled " Plunging Oil Prices", focuses on the implications of low oil prices for eight developing countries, or the MENA-8 (oil importers: Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon and Jordan and oil exporters: Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Libya) and the economies of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), who play a major role in providing funds in the form of aid, investment, tourism revenues and remittances to the rest of the countries of the region. Show Less -
This report argues that Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries face a critical choice in their quest for higher private sector growth and more jobs: promote competition, equal opportunities for... Show More + all entrepreneurs and dismantle existing privileges to specific firms or risk perpetuating the current equilibrium of low job creation. The report shows that policies which lower competition in MENA also constrain private sector development and job creation.The report is organized in four chapters as follows (PDF):Chapter one analyzes the dynamics and determinants of job creation and tests whether the fundamentals of job creation in MENA are similar to those in fast growing developing and high income countries.Chapter two shows how different policies in MENA countries shaped private sector competition and thus the firm dynamics associated with job growth identified in chapter one.Chapter three documents past industrial policies in MENA and compare the experiences in MENA with the experiences of East Asian countries, highlighting how the differences are linked to policy objective, design, and implementation.Chapter four analyzes how privileges to politically connected firms result in policy distortions that undermine competition and constrain private sector growth and jobs in MENA.The report concludes by laying out the implications for policy of the various findings and lays out the specific areas for policy reform to the roadmap for more private sector growth and jobs in MENA.Briefs (PDF)Unleashing the employment potential of the Middle East and North AfricaStartups and Innovative Firms Wanted : Private Sector Growth and Job CreationDistorted Dynamics: The Impact of Policies on Firm Dynamics and Job CreationAvoiding Pitfalls of Industrial Policy: Building Open and Effective Institutions for Private Sector Development and JobsPrivileges instead of Jobs: Politically connected firms receive generous policy privileges undermining completion and job creation Show Less -
Second issue - April 2015: Towards a New Social ContractDespite a slight uptick in the global economy, the World Bank's MENA Economic Monitor expects GDP growth in the region to remain flat at be... Show More +tween 3.1% and 3.3% for 2015 and 2016. For the first time in four years, the region faces a fiscal deficit due to the prolonged conflict and political instability in some countries, low oil prices, and the slow pace of reforms. These factors are also contributing to low investment and high unemployment. PAST ISSUESFirst issue - October 2014: Corrosive SubsidiesThe report projects regional growth to average 4.2 percent in 2015, slightly more favorable than the 2013-2014 figures. Economic growth could reach 5.2 percent depending on domestic consumption, easing political tensions crowding-in investments in Egypt and Tunisia, and full resumption of oil production in Libya. Download (PDF): Arabic l French Show Less -
This issue of the MENA quarterly brief assesses the macroeconomic performance of seven ofthe MENA countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen and Libya. All of these countries experienced ... Show More +rapid economic growth during 2000-10, and suffered a sharp economic slowdown in the aftermath of 2011. The brief focuses on the challenges facing these countries with a closer look at the actual growth performance in comparison with their forecasts and highlights the limitations of forecasting in the wake of the 2011 uprisings; and at the consequences of the growth slowdown, including unemployment, where perceptions may diverge from reality. The story is told in fourteen charts. Show Less -