Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector
International portal

News World Bank Managing Director Discusses with the Arab League Opportunities for Strengthening Development Partnerships in the Arab World

Cairo, February 28, 2008- World Bank Managing Director Juan Jose Daboub held meetings at the Arab League yesterday with senior officials of the Arab League led by Ambassador Mervat Tallawy, the Coordinator General of the Arab Economic Summit and Ambassador Hisham Youssef, Chief of Staff of the Secretary General Amr Moussa.

“This is my first visit to the Arab League.  I take this opportunity to acknowledge the role of the institution and its members in advancing many issues on the Arab economic and social development Agenda,” he said. “Our meetings today reinforce the relationship between our two institutions at a time when the future of many Arab countries is at a crossroads.  We are keen to explore further opportunities for cooperation based on shared priorities that serves social development and economic competitiveness goals,” he added.

The World Bank Managing Director was joined by Merza Hasan, Executive Director representing Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen on the Board of Directors of the World Bank, and Emmanuel Mbi, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.

Strengthening the World Bank Group engagement in the Arab world is one of six strategic themes that the World Bank President Robert Zoellick announced in late 2007.  Mr. Daboub’s visit to the region marks the launch of further consultations with governments, private sector and civil society on how the World Bank Group can become a more effective development partner in addressing priority challenges and facilitating inclusive and sustainable development in Arab Countries.

“We discussed with the Arab League priorities relating to among others, education, gender, job creation for a growing youth population in Arab countries, governance, Arab trade integration, sustainable management of natural resources and in particular water scarcity,” Daboub said.  “These are the priorities that have so far emerged in our dialogue with a number of Arab constituencies and where we can leverage our knowledge and technical resources to support sustainable and practical solutions,” he concluded.

“We are pleased to develop and enhance the relations with the World Bank and we are looking forward to the beginning of a new era of consolidated and comprehensive partnership with the Bank,” Tallawy emphasized.

The Arab League senior officials praised the good timing of Daboub’s visit that comes during the preparations for the upcoming Arab Economic, Social and Development Summit planned for end 2008/early 2009 and that aims to address the various developmental challenges facing the Arab world.

“We are very keen and are actually hoping to cooperate with the World Bank and address together the various challenges facing the Arab region. At the same time, we would like to capitalize on the World Bank’s extensive knowledge in the various sectors,” said Youssef.

Contact information World Bank in Middle East and North Africa: In Washington: Dina Elnaggar / In Cairo: Eman Wahby (email:;;
Phone: (202) 473-3245/ (011) 202-2574-1670
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information World Bank in the MENA region
Keyword(s) water scarcity
Geographical coverage Arab World
News date 29/02/2008
Working language(s) ENGLISH