In particular, the World Bank Group’s new Country Partnership Strategy for Bulgaria will provide support for knowledge services for roads and water infrastructure; improving the business regulatory environment; strengthening public administration and public finance; boosting the national green growth agenda, including energy efficiency; as well as support to the railway, to education and to social inclusion of vulnerable groups, especially Roma. Future World Bank Group financial support will be complimentary and concentrated on financing policy reforms and results-focused implementation of these reforms. Such financing will seek to be innovative in terms of supporting difficult reforms, focusing on results related to reform implementation, or financing innovative private sector activities by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group.
New lending for the first year would support modernization of the railway sector through the first operation in a programmatic series of development policy loans (DPL) and one investment loan. The DPL series would consist of three €80 million operations to support the design and implementation of railway reforms and to ensure that public financial support to railway infrastructure and passenger services are consistent with transport market demand, EU transport policies, and Bulgaria’s prudent fiscal policy. The €70 million Railway Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project would finance the acquisition of infrastructure maintenance equipment for the National Railway Infrastructure Company (NRIC) to improve the quality and efficiency of railway infrastructure services in Bulgaria. Read more about railway reforms here.
As Markus Repnik, Word Bank Country Manager for Bulgaria, concludes, the new partnership model would be based on “a two-way approach, providing knowledge but also learning from Bulgaria for the benefit of other countries.”
Stepping up cooperation
Following up on the Bulgarian government’s request for World Bank support in accelerating the utilization of EU funds, with a focus on transport and water sectors, a Memorandum of Understanding between Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria Borissov and World Bank Group President Zoellick was signed in August 2010 to step up cooperation in the development of Bulgaria’s infrastructure and to accelerate utilization of EU funds.Read more about the MoU and stepping up cooperation here
Since 1990, when Bulgaria joined the World Bank Group, the Bank has helped to foster economic growth in the country and supported reforms in areas such as banking, revenue administration, health, social welfare, and environmental protection. Several projects within the previous Country Partnership Strategy have produced tangible results. Read more about World Bank Group results here.