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PRESS RELEASE

The World Bank US$5 Million Grant Supports Union of Comoros with Economic Reforms, Improve Public Financial Management

November 29, 2012

Washington, November 29, 2012 - The World Bank approved today an Economic Reform Grant to the Union of the Comoros in the amount of US$5 million provided by the International Development Association (IDA) to support economic reforms and improve public financial management, the multilateral institution announced today.

“This grant supports the implementation of core reforms in Comoros’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy (PRGSP), at a time when the country is aiming to reach the Completion Point under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC CP) by end 2012,” explained Haleh Bridi, the World Bank Country Director for this country.

Specifically, this operation focuses on two broad policy pillars. The first is fostering public transparency and accountability, covering public financial management, civil service management, anti-corruption and governance in the fisheries sector. The second is addressing economic and social vulnerability emanating from weak performance in the energy sector and weak natural disaster risk management.

“Since mid-2011, the authorities have rekindled the reform process, taken steps to bring the budget under control, and shown a renewed commitment to advancing on structural and institutional reforms,” said Bridi. The proposed operation is an integral part of the Interim Strategy Note (ISN) designed by the International Development Association (IDA*) to support the Union of the Comoros for the period 2010 - 2012.

Like the Economic Governance Reform Support Grant (EGRSG) approved by the Board on June 1, 2010, this operation supports reforms that complement and strengthen the country’s effort to meet the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) Completion Point by December 2012. Comoros remains in debt distress, with a present value of external debt exceeding 200 percent of exports and 190 percent of government revenues in 2011. Comoros reached the HIPC Decision Point on June 29, 2010.

 

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

 

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2013/173/AFR