The Bank's approach to development in Palestine hinges on the full acceptance of the status quo - e.g. continued occupation and the presence of the settlements and the wall - as well as joint projects that impose PNA-Israeli cooperation, often with a third international partner. Politically, these development projects threaten to legitimise Israeli claims in regards to the wall, Jerusalem, land annexation and settlements that have resulted in the fragmentation and ghettoisation of the West Bank
Middle East & North Africa
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, is rapidly increasing its investment in the Middle East, raising questions about the development value of its activities. A Norwegian study of the IFC's Doing Business indicators questions the usefulness of the index to making real-life improvements to a country's business environment.
The World Bank Group and the IMF have become more involved in assistance to and oversight of Islamic financial institutions.
NGO Friends of the Earth Middle East has expressed concern over the World Bank's involvement in the Red Sea to Dead Sea water conveyance project, in particular its failure to consider alternatives that would tackle the root cause of the Dead Sea's degradation
The Egyptian government is facing criticism from MPs over plans to sell off the country's publicly owned banks, as part of an $8.7 billion financial sector reform programme that has the backing of the World Bank, the IMF, the AfDB and USAID.
In February Iraq's cabinet approved the IMF supported draft oil law
As a "key ingredient" of IMF lending and debt relief, Iraq's government has just presented a new draft petroleum law to its cabinet that could permit up to two-thirds of Iraq's known reserves to be exploited by multinational oil companies under contracts lasting for 20 years.
The Independent Evaluation Office has said that the IMF's role in Jordan in the period 1989 - 2004 was "moderately successful".
The Bank approves the first development loan to Iraq at the same time as the IMF signs a stand-by agreement, leading to a dramatic increase in fuel prices.
Comment by the Arab NGO Network for Development on the need for civil society in the region to take a more active role in monitoring the work of the IFIs.
Highlights of seminar: the reform agenda in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq
Comment by Jamal Juma, campaign coordinator of the Palestinian anti-apartheid wall campaign: StoptheWall.