World Bank Group provided $11.9 billion to Europe and Central Asia in Fiscal Year 2014
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
The World Bank Group provided $11.9 billion to Europe and Central Asia (ECA) during fiscal year 2014, aimed at reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity in the region.
Of this, IBRD/IDA provided $5.6 billion of support to the region, IFC delivered $4.7 billion in commitments, and MIGA provided $1.6 billion in political risk insurance and credit enhancement coverage.
Comprising 47 projects, the $5.6 billion of World Bank support to the region over the past fiscal year consists of $4.7 billion in commitments from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)1 and $0.9 billion from the International Development Association (IDA)2.
In addition, the Bank’s Europe and Central Asia region produced important research and analytical work about critical issues in the region this fiscal year. It also signed 33 Reimbursable Advisory Service agreements with 11 countries in the region for a total amount of $45 million. These agreements provide technical advice to pension and education systems reform, public sector governance and institutional capacity-building, planning and management of infrastructure investments, and other issues.
“Europe and Central Asia was the region hardest hit by the 2009 global economic crisis, and remains the slowest to recover. Although a modest rebound has occurred since 2010, GDP growth grew just 2.2 percent in 2013, and is expected to be only 1.7 percent in 2014,” said Laura Tuck, World Bank Vice President for the Europe and Central Asia Region. “The World Bank supported clients’ needs over the past fiscal year with innovative, demand-driven operations. We also acted quickly and effectively to respond to urgent situations, such as the crisis in Ukraine, and the catastrophic floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia in May.”
The World Bank Group stepped up its assistance in Ukraine to help stabilize the economy and support the delivery of critical public services. In May 2014, the Board approved a total of $1.4 billion in IBRD loans, including two large investment operations to improve municipal service delivery and a $750 million multi-sector Development Policy Loan (DPL). In addition, the Board approved a $250 million IFC investment project in support of a poultry private sector company. These four projects are part of the World Bank Group’s overall assistance to Ukraine announced in March 2014, which aims to provide up to $3.5 billion by the end of 2014.
In mid-May, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Serbia were hit by the worst flooding in more than 120 years. By June 30, the World Bank had approved a $100 million credit for the Floods Emergency Recovery Project for Bosnia and Herzegovina to finance critical goods, such as fuel and electricity imports, as well as the reconstruction of local infrastructure. The project was prepared in record time in view of the dire situation in the country and is financed from the International Development Association’s (IDA) Crisis Response Window. The Bank is also working with the BiH authorities to strengthen flood protection and implement early warning systems, including through the $24 million credit for the Drina Flood Protection Project, which is improving flood management of the Drina River in and around the towns of Bijelijna and Goražde. This combined immediate response will support economic recovery in the affected areas.
In Serbia, the Bank has contributed to the joint Government, EU, UN, and World Bank Recovery Needs Assessment that is underway, and is in the process of restructuring its roads rehabilitation project to prioritize roads sections damaged by the floods. The Bank is also preparing an emergency recovery loan, as requested by the Government, to address urgent needs.