Country Partnership Strategy for Belarus
June 6, 2013
Based on consultations at all levels of society, and with development partners, the World Bank Group's Country Partnership Strategy for Belarus for 2014-2017 commits to helping reforms in key areas needed for the country to regain competitiveness, maintain macroeconomic stability and sustain growth.
The strategy has been developed through extensive consultations with key stakeholders including the government authorities, business associations, civil society, development partners, and beneficiaries. As proposed by civil society partners, instruments will be developed to engage beneficiaries and civil society in monitoring the provision of services in projects supported by the World Bank Group in Belarus.
Among those challenges is the fostering of economic competitiveness through reduction of the large role of the state, which the country's entrepreneurs say will stimulate markets.
The importance of private sector for economic development is kind of ABC. The experience of other countries shows that the higher the share of private business is, the more successful the countries are from the economic point of view.
Other areas of improvements supported by the strategy include making energy more efficient, making better use of Belarus agricultural and forestry resources, and reducing waste - something that will ultimately benefit millions of Belarusians, say the country's environmentalists who were among the different groups of society consulted in the preparation of the Strategy by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC, the private sector arm of the Bank).
Environment is one of the top priorities here in Belarus and sustainable life style could be one of the priorities of interaction between government and civil society.
"The resources are running out, their cost is increasing, so the environment gets more contaminated and we need to work in this direction," adds his colleague Natalia Parechyna.
The strategy also proposes support in reforms that will lead to higher human development through better education, health and social services for all.
The World Bank Group will provide advice and its financial resources to address the country priorities.
In all of its assistance to Belarus, the World Bank and IFC commit to applying a gender lens to allow for equal participation of women and men in Belarus's labor force and private businesses as well as for greater impact of social services.
The Country Partnership Strategy says that along with its support for reforms, the World Bank and IFC will engage beneficiaries in the monitoring of the projects the World Bank Group finances, in line with proposals from its civil society partners in Belarus, thus improving results and dialogue with authorities and service providers on these beneficiaries' needs.