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MENAFN - Qatar News Agency - 13/10/2012

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(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The Group of Eight economies launched on Friday a fund in partnership with Middle Eastern countries to support the Arab Spring nations making the transition to democracy , proposing to extend 165 million for several years toward the target of 250 million.

Finance ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States have been trying to help the political transition in such countries as Egypt, Tunisia and Libya while supporting their home-grown strategies to ensure sustainable economic growth.

The United States, which chairs the G-8 this year, will make the biggest contribution of 50 million to establish the Middle East and North Africa Transition Fund.

Britain and Saudi Arabia come second, each extending 25 million, followed by Canada's 15 million .

Japanese Senior Vice Finance Minister Tsutomu Okubo said in a statement that his country has pledged 12 million and France will do likewise.

The fund, which will be created under the World Bank, will provide Middle Eastern and North African countries in transition with "technical assistance to undertake policy reforms to build more inclusive and transparent economies, boost trade and integration of the region, and enhance the environment for private sector growth," the United States said in its chair's statement.

The Deauville Partnership meeting, named after the town where the initiative was launched in 2011 by France, was also participated in by "partnership countries" in the region, international aid agencies and financial institutions. The one-day talks came on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Tokyo.

Political uncertainty experienced by countries in the Middle East and North Africa is widely feared to slow their economic activity, including tourism and investment flows, while putting them under pressure from high and volatile commodity prices.

The G-8 members have supported the engagement by the IMF in the region through enhanced technical assistance and continued policy advice.

They have also called on multilateral development banks and regional development funds to foster their coordination and increase support to address challenges facing relevant countries.


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