Bishkek, September 18, 2012 - The World Bank today marks the 20th anniversary of its cooperation with the Kyrgyz Republic, a partnership that has made an important contribution to improving lives of the Kyrgyz people.
"The World Bank has been a reliable partner of the Kyrgyz Republic for 20 years, from the creation of the market economy in the 1990s to the fight against corruption today,” said Alexander Kremer, World Bank Country Manager for the Kyrgyz Republic. “With support from the World Bank, Kyrgyzstan has achieved a stable macro-economy; rehabilitated roads, power supplies and irrigation schemes; improved children’s test scores in rural schools; and improved access to basic health services for the poor.”
“Today the Kyrgyz people can take pride in their achievements. Poverty has fallen from about 56% in 2001 to 37% in 2011,” added Alexander Kremer. “But there is much work to be done, with governance and anti-corruption a top priority as the country continues its recovery from the events of 2010.”
Over the twenty years the Kyrgyz Republic - World Bank partnership has evolved with changing local and global contexts. In the 1990’s, the World Bank assisted in areas such as private enterprise support and social sectors. In 2000’s, the Bank’s program included projects aimed at improving social services and national infrastructure. The Bank’s strategy for the coming years will be to support economic and political stability by supporting the Government's efforts to fight corruption, strengthen public finances, and improve social conditions.
Since 1992, the World Bank has been a leading development partner of the Kyrgyz Republic with commitments of US$ 1,089 billion in the form of grants and highly concessional credits. In the difficult year of 2010, the World Bank led the Joint Economic Assessment to identify immediate emergency needs, initiated and organized the July 2010 Donors Conference, and tripled the amount of its lending in fiscal year 2010-11 in order to respond to the country’s urgent recovery needs. Since the Donor Conference the World Bank has approved US$200 million in new projects, of which around US$100 million in grants.
The Kyrgyz Republic gets funding from the World Bank on highly concessional terms – 45% is pure grant funding, and 55% credits. The credits attract no interest and only a 0.75 percent service charge. Credits are repayable in 40 years, including a 10-year grace period, while grants require no repayment. The World Bank also offers free of charge analytical and advisory services from its own operating budget.
Looking ahead, together with other partners, the World Bank will continue supporting the Kyrgyz people to improve their lives and enable them to realize their potential.