This paper assesses the economic and political determinants of IMF and World Bank program loans to the Middle East and North Africa. First we assess what is already known about the geo-political influences on aid flows to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the potential for this to operate via the IMF and World Bank. From this we conclude that there is scope for IMF and World Bank lending in the region to respond to the political interests of their major shareholders, particularly the United States. We support these arguments with both a qualitative and a quantitative analysis of the determinants of World Bank and IMF program lending to the region, focusing on both economic need in the MENA countries and the politics of donor interest before concluding.
World Development (2006) 34 (2) 247–270 [doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2005.07.016]