The World Bank has announced a four-year $900mn support program for Iraq focusing on job creation, social inclusion and building stronger institutions. The program, defined as Country Partnership Strategy, was discussed on 18 December by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors and is intended to lay the foundation for long-term sustainable growth.

“The strategy will assist Iraq in managing its own resources more efficiently and effectively and will provide the diversification of the economy and private sector growth, for the benefit of all citizens,” the World Bank said. The Iraqi government designed the strategy, based on consultations with various stakeholders, including local and regional governments, the private sector, civil society groups, academics and the donor community. According to the World Bank Director for Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, Ferid Belhaj, the strategy “will allow the World Bank to align its program of support over the next four years with the government’s National Development Plan.” (CONTINUED - 270 WORDS)