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IFC supports construction sector in Iraq

World Cement,

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a US$50 million loan to cement and construction materials supplier Lafarge to support the French company’s cement subsidiary in northern Iraq and spur economic recovery in the post-conflict country.

IFC’s loan to Bazian Cement Company is supplemented by an additional US$20 million loan by Proparco, a development financial institution funded by private shareholders and the Agence Francaise de Développement.

As Iraq emerges from over two decades of conflict, construction needs are great, with large investments expected in key projects such as housing, schools and roads. The loan will help increase the supply of quality cement and reduce the acute domestic supply gap. IFC and Proparco will also work with the company to implement an environmental and social strategy to help align the company with international sustainability standards.

“This financing will help address the cement shortage that the country urgently needs to build key infrastructure, and will play a catalytic role in attracting other potential foreign investors into other sectors in Iraq, increasing much-needed foreign direct investment into the country,” said

Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Vice President for Eastern and Southern Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa.

Last year, IFC committed US$2 billion worth of investments, including mobilisation, in the Middle East and North Africa. Many of those initiatives were designed to spur economic development and promote investment in countries whose economies have struggled in the wake of recent political developments. Over the next three to four years, IFC expects to invest up to US$6 billion, including US$2 billion in mobilisation, in the Middle East and North Africa.

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