JEDDAH, Monday, June 2, 2014 — World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, on his first visit to Saudi Arabia, highlighted the leadership role of the Kingdom in global and regional economic developments, emphasizing the importance of strengthening partnerships with Arab bilateral and multilateral partners for development assistance and scaling up support for countries in transition.
Saudi Arabia is a member of the G-20 and is a major shareholder in the World Bank Group and a generous supporter to the International Development Agency, which provides concessional financing to low-income countries, Kim said.
“Saudi Arabia plays a crucial role in regional and global economic development as a major source of energy, overseas development assistance, foreign direct investment and remittances,” Kim said. “I came to the Kingdom to thank the senior leadership of their generosity and also to seek ways to strengthening our partnership with them in order to support other countries in transition in the region as well as those impacted by the tragic conflict in Syria.”
While in Saudi Arabia, Kim also exchanged views on the growing World Bank-Saudi partnership in supporting the poorer countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In this context, Kim expressed strong appreciation for the close collaboration with Saudi Arabia in support of Yemen during its transition process.
Saudi Arabia has contributed US$3.25 billion to neighboring Yemen to help develop its economy which included a US$1 billion deposit to the Central Bank of Yemen. In addition, Saudi Arabia along with the United Kingdom, led and co-hosted the ‘Friends of Yemen,’ a group of countries and intergovernmental organizations that came together to assist in Yemen during the transition process. The International Development Association (IDA), the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries, has also benefited from prominent contribution by Saudi Arabia.
Kim met with Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Finance Ibrahim Al-Assaf, and senior government officials.
Kim also visited the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to congratulate its leadership on its 40th Anniversary and affirm the importance of the partnership between the two organizations for benefit of mutual member countries.
The World Bank Group’s program in Saudi Arabia which includes the Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) is based on Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) where the Bank brings technical expertise and global knowledge to counterpart ministries and agencies. It is a multi-sectoral programmatic approach focused on supporting policy and programs in areas of employment, urban development, health, water, transport, and energy efficiency. In addition, the International Finance Corporation has a growing advisory services program in the Kingdom.
Kim was accompanied on his trip by Inger Andersen, World Bank Regional Vice President for MENA; and Mouayed Makhlouf , the International Finance Corporation’s Regional Director for MENA.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim’s visit to Saudi Arabia is part of a three-country trip to the Middle East which will include stops in Lebanon and Jordan.
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group plays a key role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. It consists of five institutions: the World Bank, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA); the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Working together in more than 100 countries, these institutions provide financing, advice, and other solutions that enable countries to address the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org, www.miga.org, and ifc.org.