YEREVAN, July 17, /ARKA/. The World Bank Group said in a press release that it has 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) and $0.9 billion from the International Development Association (IDA).
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.
During fiscal year 2014, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) provided support for six projects with $1.6 billion in political risk insurance and credit enhancement coverage in Europe and Central Asia (ECA). Through these guarantees, the Agency continued to bolster the region’s financial sector – a strong focus for MIGA in ECA. MIGA’s landmark support to Hungary’s Exim Bank this year represented the first use of the Agency’s credit enhancement product for a bond issue.
“Support to middle-income countries is an important pillar of MIGA’s strategy,” said Keiko Honda, MIGA’s Executive Vice President and CEO.
“Projects MIGA insures in the region increase banks’ ability to lend, diversify the kinds of financial services available to people and businesses, and attract new capital sources to keep industry moving forward.”
Since 1995, IFC has invested about $ 271 million in 44 projects in Armenia. It also provides advisory services on sustainable energy, business regulation and food safety. The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the first non-resident that issued the first 2 billion drams worth bonds (about $5 million). -0-