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The Middle East and North Africa (MENA TF) Transition Fund

Background and Objectives

Under the Deauville Partnership, this Fund was launched as a response to the historic changes underway in several countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and as a long-term, global initiative that provides countries in transition with a framework based on technical support to:

(i) strengthen governance for transparent, accountable governments;

(ii) provide an economic framework for sustainable and inclusive growth; and

(iii) to support the countries in transition to formulate policies and programs and implement reforms.

The World Bank has been assigned as trustee for the fund whilst the African Development Bank has become an implementation support agency (ISA) for the fund in order to channel support to TunisiaEgyptLibya and Morocco. At the end of 2015, the MENA TF had approved 11 operations, for an overall amount of USD 27.25 million.

Areas of Intervention

To provide flexibility to respond to transformational and cross-cutting proposals, the Transition Fund provides grant funding and fosters partnerships for technical cooperation projects to address a broad range of inter-related thematic areas covering all three pillars of the Deauville Partnership (Finance, Trade, and Governance). Transition Countries can make proposals across the following thematic areas:

  • Investing in Sustainable Growth: This could include such topics as innovation and technology policy, enhancing the business environment (including for small and medium-sized enterprises as well as for local and foreign investment promotion), competition policy, private sector development strategies, access to finance, addressing urban congestion and energy intensity.
  • Inclusive Development and Job Creation: This could include support of policies for integrating lagging regions, skills and labour market policies, increasing youth employability, enhancing female labour force participation, integrating people with disabilities, vocational training, pension reform, improving job conditions and regulations, financial inclusion, promoting equitable fiscal policies and social safety net reform.
  • Enhancing Economic Governance: This could include areas such as transparency, anti-corruption and accountability policies, asset recovery, public financial management and oversight, public sector audit and evaluation, integrity, procurement reform, regulatory quality and administrative simplification, investor and consumer protection, access to economic data and information, management of environmental and social impacts, capacity building for local government and decentralization, support for the Open Government Partnership, creation of new and innovative government agencies related to new transitional reforms, reform of public service delivery in the social and infrastructure sectors, and sound banking systems.
  • Competitiveness and Integration: This could include such topics as logistics, behind-the-border regulatory convergence, trade strategy and negotiations, planning and facilitation of cross-border infrastructure, and promoting and facilitating infrastructure projects, particularly in the areas of urban infrastructure, transport, trade facilitation and private sector development.

Target Beneficiaries

A. Eligible Countries and ISAs

Transition Countries eligible for funding are Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen. Other countries in the MENA region may become eligible to receive financing from the Transition Fund in the future as determined by the Deauville Partnership and approved by the Steering Committee. However the intervention of the ADB as Implementation Support Agency (ISA) is limited to its member countries: Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.

B. Eligible Activities Funded by the Transition Fund

Eligible technical cooperation can include: piloting implementation of key reforms (including investments for this purpose); knowledge development and dissemination; diagnostic work; capacity-building for strategy development, institutional and policy reform, legal and regulatory drafting, negotiation of contracts and agreements, public resource management, and investment planning; capacity-building for parliamentary oversight of government agencies; preparation (including feasibility studies, etc.), monitoring and evaluation of innovative investment projects; and training and twinning arrangements.

Governance Structure

The Transition Fund has a governance structure consisting of a Steering Committee (SC), Implementation Support Agencies (ISAs), a Trustee, a Coordination Unit (CU), and an independent callable Roster of Experts (ROE). Projects are implemented by the Transition Countries in collaboration with the selected ISAs and relevant partners, and with ISA-Execution in the case of parliamentary proposals and on occasion at the request of the Transition Country.