Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. offer $100 million to World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Fund proposed by Ivanka Trump

(Editor’s note, updating Saturday report: The World Bank on Sunday confirmed the $100 million pledge at its event attended by Ivanka Trump.)


White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump in Saudi Arabia. Women live under restrictions in Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., concerns noted in past State Department human-rights reports. But American officials haven’t publicly raised these concerns during President Trump’s current visit.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—The World Bank plans to announce Sunday at an event with Ivanka Trump, the U.S. president’s daughter and senior White House adviser, that Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have pledged $100 million collectively toward a fund for women who own or want to start businesses, according to people familiar with the announcement.

The money for the bank’s proposed Women Entrepreneurs Fund would be aimed at women in the Middle East, these people said. They described the fund’s goal as helping women run successful businesses by easing their access to finance, markets and networks.

“This facility has clear alignment with our broader work to advance women’s economic empowerment,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement thanking Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Trump. “We look forward to launching the facility later this year.”

Ms. Trump is scheduled to hold a discussion on Sunday with Saudi women, including civil society leaders, businesswomen and elected government officials, “to hear their experiences and discuss opportunities for women’s economic empowerment,” according to the White House.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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