The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Transition Fund recently received $37.7 million from Canada, the United Kingdom, and France to support good governance, sustainable growth, and greater employment opportunities for youth.
The grant-based Transition Fund, established by the Deauville Partnership and housed in the World Bank, was launched during the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings last October in Tokyo. It will provide grants to Arab countries in transition, currently Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen, to support institution building and implementation of critical policies in economic governance; trade, investment, and integration; and inclusive development and job creation.
“In a time of momentous and historic change, the scope of the Transition Fund is very flexible and responsive to people’s demands, and can accompany the implementation of reforms over several years if needed,” said Jonathan Walters, Executive Secretary of the Steering Committee. “The Transition Fund provides grants to help governments implement economic and governance reforms that will transform people’s lives. The Fund can work with any public agency involved in reforms, including local government, parliaments, enterprises, ministries, and judicial systems.”
The Transition Fund’s Steering Committee held its inaugural meeting in Amman on December 11, 2012 and approved a first grant of US$1.5 million in support of improving performance of water sector institutions in Jordan. The project will help build sustainable technical capacity in the Jordan Water Authority and Yarmouk Water Company and lay the foundation for private sector involvement in the management of water services in Jordan. The project will be implemented by the Jordan Water Authority with support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Donors have currently pledged about $165 million towards an overall Transition Fund target of $250 million. In addition to the contributions already received, Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States have confirmed pledges.
The Transition Fund is a joint commitment among G-8 members, Gulf and regional partners, and international and regional financial institutions to support the efforts of the people and governments in transition in MENA as they aspire to change. Public entities and parliaments in transition countries can partner with the African Development Bank, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, Arab Monetary Fund, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, International Finance Corporation, International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OPEC Fund for International Development, or the World Bank once all agreements are in place.