World Bank to Provide $843 Million to Armenia over the Next Four Years

WASHINGTON, D.C –A new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for the Republic of Armenia for 2014-2017 was discussed last Thursday by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors.

The four-year strategy in a framework document outlining the World Bank Group’s support to the country.

The strategy proposes financial support of $843 million over the next four years, with access to the International Development Association (IDA), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and International finance Corporation (IFC) funding.

The strategy is anchored in the Armenia Development Strategy 2025 and places private sector-led job creation at the center of the World Bank Group’s response. It also stresses the need for improvement of labor productivity in the agricultural sector that supports the livelihood of one million of the rural population, and would lead to higher economic growth, shared prosperity, and faster poverty reduction in both urban and rural areas.

The strategy proposes financial support of US $843 million over hte next four years, with access to the International Development Association (IDA), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and International Finance Corporation (IFC) funding.

To Support Private-Led Job Creation

“This Country Partnership Strategy aims to support private sector-led job creation to underpin Armenia’s development,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus. “It aims to support Armenia’s development by strengthening competitiveness of the economy through the implementation of critical reforms that will help boost job creation, and by ensuring more efficient and equitable delivery of social services.”

The strategy will support Armenia across two main engagement areas:

Supporting competitiveness and job creation by improving the ease of doing business, promoting exports and tourism, and improving SME access to finance; and Improving efficiency and equity in social services delivery by ensuring access of all, especially women to quality health and education services, and strengthening the social protection system.

Improving governance and anti-corruption measure in public services is a cross cutting focus, the strategy will help revamp the existing anti-corruption framework, improve efficiency of the public administration, and deepen public finance management reform.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will continue to supporting the real sector through investment in competitive sectors such as mining and agribusiness. IFC will also deepen its advisory services operations in order to improve the investment climate with a focus on the agribusiness sector, strengthen the financial sector, and develop the market for investment in renewable energy.

The Private Sector Critical

“The private sector is critical to economic growth,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for the South Caucasus, “IFC, with its focus on private sector development, plans to leverage the power of entrepreneurs to create jobs and support sustainable economic growth in Armenia. We will continue to seek investment opportunities and provide advice in the areas where those are needed most.”

Since Armenia joined the World Bank in 1992, $1.746 million has been allocated to different operations in the country. Currently, the World Bank portfolio with total commitments of $445.4 million.

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