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PRESS RELEASE

Demand for World Bank Knowledge in Bulgaria

November 21, 2013

Regional Director for Central Europe and the Baltic Countries Ms. Mamta Murthi discussed with the government areas of engagement in collaboration with other international financial institutions

SOFIA, November 21, 2013 – There is a strong demand for the World Bank’s knowledge in Bulgaria under the arrangement of reimbursable advisory services. This is the main conclusion after the two day visit of World Bank Regional Director for Central Europe and the Baltic Countries Ms. Mamta Murthi to Bulgaria.

Murthi attended the joint coordination meeting organized by the Bulgarian Government with representatives of all partnering international financial institutions (IFIs), namely the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as well as the Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions (JASPERS) initiative. The coordination meeting was opened by Deputy Prime Minister in charge of EU Funds Management and Minister of Justice Zinaida Zlatanova.

“It was very encouraging to hear the appreciation for our knowledge support provided to Bulgaria in the areas of water and sanitation, roads, and innovation, and to witness the strong demand for more advisory services in new areas like heath and irrigation,” said Murthi.

The Bulgarian government envisages partnering with the World Bank to provide advice on health financing and e-health, as well as support in preparing the national strategy for irrigation, providing options on climate change adaptation policies and on prevention of floods in rural areas. The World Bank’s engagement in agriculture and irrigation is another illustration of the innovative partnership Bulgaria is establishing with the IFIs, as it is the first EU country to draw on the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) for this type of services. On the other hand, the IFIs are also deepening their collaboration, joining efforts to provide the best policy advice and expertise to Bulgaria, for example, cooperation in the water sector.

During her two day visit to Bulgaria, Murthi also met with Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Development Daniela Bobeva, Minister of Finance Petar Chobanov, and Minister of Regional Development Desislava Terzieva.

Since Bulgaria joined the World Bank Group in 1990, it has received approximately $4 billion in lending to support reforms in areas such as banking, revenue administration, health, social welfare, environmental protection, general manufacturing, agribusiness, and infrastructure. The World Bank Group Country Partnership Strategy for Bulgaria, in place since 2011, has reinforced the move toward a knowledge partnership. This strategy is in support of smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth, and in line with the Europe 2020 agenda and National Reform Program. The World Bank’s knowledge and advisory services support Bulgaria to use EU funds more effectively.

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2014/ECA/030