Figures released by the International Finance Corporation show that its investments for the fiscal year 2012 in the Middle East and North Africa have reached a record $2.9 billion. Fifty-seven projects have been supported across 12 countries as part of the Corporation's efforts to restore investors' confidence in the region, with a focus on the long-term possibilities after the end of the political crises. It is the IFC's highest annual commitment in the region to date, representing a 21 per cent increase over 2011.
Twenty-five advisory projects were launched with a total value of $17.6 million to improve opportunities for obtaining access to finance and strengthen corporate governance and practices of small and medium enterprises. Almost $600 million has been pumped into infrastructure projects in the MENA region. One IFC initiative is the Arab Financing Facility for Infrastructure (AFFI), established in partnership with the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank to encourage infrastructure investment.
In order to address what it calls the "the mismatch between the needs of the labour markets and the education outcomes in the Arab World", the IFC pointed to the launch of the e4e (Education for Employment) initiative for Arab youth in Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco, in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank. The e4e team has also sought and received funding for the project from Britain's Department for International Development among other donors.