YEREVAN, January 11. /ARKA/. Armenia consistently ranked among the top performing countries in International Development Association (IDA) portfolio, Jean-Michel Happi, the World Bank’s Country Manager for Armenia, said in an interview with ARKA News Agency.
He said that throughout the past 20 years Armenia has maintained its forefront place in the Bank in terms of the quality of portfolio implementation.
“With a diversified portfolio in almost all sectors of economy (in the total commitments of more than $1.6 bln since 1993) the projects have shown notable results,” he said. “The projects addressed needs in various sectors including roads, energy, education, health, irrigation, rural development, public administration, and judiciary, etc.”
Happi said the IDA credits and more recently (since 2009) the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( IBRD) loans have been the two main instruments of financing the projects that helped further the development and reform agenda of the country.
“The large share of infrastructure projects helped not only to improve access to markets and reduce the associated costs and time, but also created new jobs and offered incomes to many,” he said. “Investments in the health and education infrastructure made an additional contribution to the reduction of non-income poverty by easing the access to basic social services for the poor and vulnerable.”
Happi also added that he key reasons for the successful results of World Bank support have been the close cooperation with the Armenian government, the government's high ownership and the very strong implementation capacity that exists in the country.
Some 14 WB-funded programs are being implemented in Armenia now. The Lifeline Road Improvement Project (LRIP), the Municipal Water Project (MWP), the Municipal Water and Wastewater (MWWP), the Irrigation Rehabilitation Emergency Project (IREP), the Electricity Supply Reliability Project (ESRP), the Geothermal Energy Project (GEP), the Energy Efficiency Project (EEP) and the Community Agricultural Resource Management and Competitiveness (CARMAC) projects are among them. -0-