WASHINGTON, June 6, 2013 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors discussed a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Belarus that will guide the World Bank’s and International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) support to Belarus from 2013 through 2017.
“The new strategy will focus World Bank Group support on areas that will bring direct benefits to ordinary citizens of Belarus, generate global public goods benefits and contribute to improved governance, transparency and social accountability,” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Regional Director for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.
The strategy has been developed through extensive consultations with key stakeholders including government authorities, business associations, civil society organizations, 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.
In the next four years, the World Bank Group’s assistance to Belarus will be concentrated in three areas:
- Increasing competitiveness of the economy by supporting structural reforms, including reducing the role of the state, transforming the state-owned enterprise sector, and promoting private and financial sector development and integration into the global economy.
- Improving quality and efficiency of public infrastructure services, use of agricultural and forestry resources and increasing global public goods benefits.
- Enhancing human development outcomes through better education, health and social services.
“Private sector can serve as a key engine of long-term growth in Belarus,” said Rufat Alimardanov, IFC’s Regional Manager for Belarus and Ukraine. “IFC is committed to further developing private businesses through a combination of investment and advisory work. Our program in Belarus will support trade development, improve access to finance and increase energy and resource efficiency, with a particular focus on small and medium-sized companies.”
The new strategy builds on rigorous analyses of Belarus’s key development challenges and is aligned with the country’s development priorities and commitments. Comprehensive structural reforms will be key to Belarus’s development and vital to the successful implementation of the strategy. Based on lessons learned during the implementation of the previous Country Assistance Strategy, support under the new strategy will be calibrated according to the pace, depth and scope of structural reforms. We will focus our financial support in sectors with improved governance and accountability, an adequate or improving policy framework, and strong track record of implementation and reform commitment. Analytical and advisory support will be provided in important policy areas to make the case for reforms or to provide the analytical basis for any new lending.
Implementation of the existing portfolio will be critical to achieving the results of the strategy. The current investment lending portfolio includes 6 operations for a total amount of US$547.5 million. Since Belarus joined the World Bank in 1992, commitments to the country have totaled US$955 million for 13 projects. In addition, grant financing totaling US$23.7 million has been provided to about 30 programs including those with civil society organizations.
IFC has invested a total of US$388 million in 40 projects in different sectors in Belarus. IFC’s current committed portfolio in Belarus stands at over US$170 million.