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By Jane Harrigan, Hamed El-Said (eds.)

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Additional resources for Aid and Power in the Arab World: World Bank and IMF Policy-Based Lending in the Middle East and North Africa

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Likewise a change in foreign policy stance represented by signing a peace treaty with Israel is a good predictor of IMF loans. 37 Cases where no programme was introduced despite the model’s prediction of a loan are: Egypt 1985, 1986, 1989 and Morocco 1979, 1994, 1997. Cases where a programme was put in place but not predicted by the model are: Egypt 1976, 1987, 1996; Jordan 1989, 1992; Tunisia 1986 and Yemen 1997. It is beyond the scope of this chapter to return to extensive qualitative country case study analysis to explain these outliers.

It is also worth noting that during the oil boom years, despite having high domestic saving rates and high inflows of foreign aid, investment in the MENA region was well below the saving capacity. Consequently, resources were mostly diverted towards consumption as well as non-productive investment. The extent of crisis can be seen when we look at key macroeconomic indicators for countries in the region who were to become major recipients of IMF and World Bank programme loans, namely, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

It would seem that in these MENA countries US officials hoped, by providing friendly regimes with financial and military support and by developing them into regional showpieces of globalisation, that this would stabilise the regimes of their Arab allies (Alexander 1996, Waterbury 1998). Morocco has been such a massive and continuous recipient of Bank and Fund programme loans that it is difficult to link key domestic and international political events to the timing of such loans. However, its efforts in supporting the 1991 Gulf war, including sending 1,200 troops, was rewarded handsomely with more than US$ 5 billion in debt forgiveness from the US and Arab oil-rich states.

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