Middle East and North Africa's oil importers will need around $90 billion in 2012 and $100 billion in 2013 for total external financing, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) deputy managing director Nemat Shafik.
Shafik, who ended her three-day visit to Lebanon to participate in the Arab Economic Forum, added that the MENA region is going through dramatic change. Political transition in several Arab countries had brought promises of inclusive growth but had also created uncertainty that weighed on investment, tourism, and overall economic activity.
She confirmed that the IMF was committed to supporting the Arab countries in transition with financing, technical assistance and policy advice.
The IMF has recently approved a loan for Yemen under the Rapid Credit Facility, and discussions on financing several countries are ongoing.
Shafik stated that Lebanon had been impacted by the global slowdown and regional unrest, but was not among the countries that the IMF was in discussions with over financing, explaining that Lebanese domestic political and regional uncertainties had had their toll on growth in the country.
She added that Lebanon's growth is expected to pick up this year.
“The IMF stands ready to help Lebanon in any way that serves the interests of its people, including through technical assistance,” Shafik said.