Four Countries Join Deauville Partnership in Support for MENA Reform
USD 38 billion available to aid change in Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan
The Deauville Partnership, set up at the G8 meeting in the French seaside town in May 2011 with the aim of supporting political and economic transformation in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, has welcomed five new members.
The Partnership’s founding members were the G8 countries together with Egypt and Tunisia. After a meeting of its finance ministers in Marseilles, France, on 10 September the Partnership announced in a communiqué that Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE, had joined the association.
Nine international and regional financial institutions, including the African Development Bank (AfDB), are now actively working with the Partnership.
The AfDB played a very active and central role in creating this partnership of financial institutions, and it will chair the rotating Coordination Platform during its first year of operation.
This enlarged group of institutions means that there is now a total of USD 38 billion in funds available to support suitable reform efforts in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan - the “Partnership Countries”. This figure is in addition to resources that could be available from the International Monetary Fund.
The Partnership also noted: “The Arab monetary fund is also ready to provide financing to the countries in the region”.
The G8, with Egypt and Tunisia, had initiated this long-term Partnership in Deauville to support the historical changes then under way in some countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), based on two pillars.
The first was a political pillar to support the democratic transition, and the second was an economic pillar to support home-grown strategies for sustainable and inclusive growth.
In Marseilles, the Partnership announced: “Today, we launched the economic pillar and announced its extension to all relevant partners”, adding that five new countries had joined it in supporting the Partnership Countries.
It added: “We welcome the participation of Libya at our meeting in Marseilles and look forward to their participation in the Partnership. We stand ready to support the Libyan authorities in their endeavour to rebuild the country and conduct a Libyan-led transition towards shared prosperity”.
In its communiqué, the Partnership commented on the economic and financial challenges the Partnership Countries were facing, to varying degrees.
It noted: “Recent events in the MENA region have challenged macroeconomic stability in the near term, although the impact varies considerably from country to country.
“Some countries have been experiencing a drop in economic activity, including tourism, and investment flows, while also suffering from high and volatile commodity prices and increased domestic social pressures.
“With strained public finances, the immediate challenge for these countries is to fulfill people’s expectations while preserving macroeconomic stability”.
On the margin of the Marseilles meeting, President Kaberuka and President Thomas Mirow of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development signed a memorandum of understanding between their two institutions, thus further underpinning the Deauville Partnership.
The Partnership will meet again under the chairmanship of the United States of America in 2012.