The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has the third largest population of the four regions that the IsDB operates in, with 24% or 422 million people. Egypt and Iran are the most populous member countries in the region, with 93 million and 80 million people respectively.
MENA contains a spread of middle- and low-income countries (such as Yemen) plus high-income countries, including Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Its large per capita income, of US$19,981*, is thanks to its many oil-dominated economies.
The region’s countries face diverse challenges. In the short-term, sustaining economic growth, containing the large fiscal and balance of payment deficits, and building resilience to external shocks are all key. In the medium-to-longer term the region must improve competitiveness, and diversify its production base and exports, address youth unemployment, and promote regional integration.
Out of the total IDB Group financing (US$130.8 billion) since inception to the end of Q3 2017, US$49.4 billion has gone to the MENA region. The majority of net approvals have mainly been in the energy sector. Morocco is one of the top five beneficiaries of IDBG financing, at 5%.
*Adjusted by purchasing power parity (PPP). Relates to 2016.