The World Bank Group’s new country assistance strategy for the Philippines from 2015 to 2018 revolves around the theme “Making Growth Work for the Poor”.
This means making sure no one, especially the poor, is left behind. Households and communities most at risk for poverty should have better income opportunities and less vulnerability to sudden economic difficulties and natural disasters. They should have better education, good health care, as well as access to infrastructure and information to improve their lives and to participate in growing the economy.
The new strategy is in line with the World Bank Group’s new twin goals of eradicating extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. It also supports the country’s goal of promoting and sustaining inclusive growth that reduces poverty and creates more and better jobs—jobs that raise real wages or bring people out of poverty. The new strategy continues to support the country’s development programs in five key engagement areas:
• Transparent and accountable governance: strengthening public financial management, improving fiscal transparency and financial accountability, and supporting greater demand from citizens for government accountability.
• Empowerment of the poor and vulnerable: improving health and education outcomes, strengthening social protection and ensuring the availability of more timely and improved measurements of poverty.
• Rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth: promoting economic policy reform for inclusive growth, boosting private sector development by improving the investment climate for firms of all sizes, including greater access to finance, and increasing productivity and job creation, especially in rural areas.
• Climate change, environment, and disaster risk management: increasing physical, financial and institutional resilience to natural disaster and climate change impacts, and improving natural resource management and sustainable development.
• Peace, institution building, and social and economic opportunity: supporting governance and social and economic development in conflict-affected regions in Mindanao, including the territory of the proposed new Bangsamoro autonomous political entity.
The World Bank Group (WBG) will support transformational programs and projects that work across sectors to deliver tangible results which have high and long-term impact. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the WBG’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will work closely together to mobilize private sector investment and support job creation in areas such as agriculture and agribusiness, trade and logistics, infrastructure and public-private partnerships.
The indicative new financial commitment from the IBRD may average $800 million a year, along with non-lending support in the form of analytical and advisory assistance. As of September 2014, the Philippine portfolio comprises 18 active projects with a total net commitment of $4.4 billion. This includes 11 investment loan operations, three development policy operations and four trust funds that are part of the lending portfolio.
The IFC has committed $250-$300 million in investments in the next two years. It has been active in both the infrastructure and financial institutions space in the country, with $331 million and $306 million current investments, respectively. Investments in power and utilities dominate the infrastructure portfolio while financial institutions are spread across 7 partner institutions, including commercial and thrift banks, distressed asset platforms, and a fund and real estate developer.
Last Updated: Oct 08, 2014