GCC Ramps Up Aid

The GCC has supplanted rich western countries and international financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF to become the key source of official financial assistance to the MENA region’s oil importing countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Tunisia.

The GCC’s share of assistance shot up from from 5.5% in 2010 to 50% in 2013, the IMF says in a report released this week.

MENA oil importers have been left with gaping budget and trade deficits in recent years as tourism and export revenues have fallen. North African countries have been hard hit by the ongoing economic malaise in the EU, traditionally both the largest source of investment and their key export market. Lebanon and Jordan have been hit by spillovers from the war since 2011 in neighboring Syria. (CONTINUED - 307 WORDS)