UN, WB crisis fund

LIMA: The UN and World Bank (WB) said on Saturday they will increase financing for the Middle East and North Africa to help countries there deal with millions of refugees and rebuild after conflicts. They did not put a dollar figure on the initiative, but said it would ramp up resources to deal with the ‘enormous humanitarian and economic toll’ that conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere are taking on the region. “The world today is witness to... the highest level of forced displacement since the Second World War,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement. “To address the scale and the nature of the conflicts, we need new approaches. It is important that the World Bank, as a close partner to the UN, and other international financial institutions, mainstream and actively invest in conflict-affected states.” The new loans will come in two forms, said the organisations, which are also collaborating with the Islamic Development Bank on the plan.