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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Approves Funds to Boost Burundi’s Public Finance Management and Promote Economic Diversification

November 27, 2013

WASHINGTON, November 27, 2013 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved an International Development Association* grant of US$26 million to support the Government of Burundi’s objectives to achieve greater transparency in public finance management, diversify the economy, and strengthen social safety nets to improve the quality of life for the country’s poorest families.

The Burundi Government has emphasized its commitment to move the country from a post-conflict to a more stable economy,” says World Bank Country Director for Burundi Philippe Dongier. “The promulgation of the new mining code was an important milestone in economic governance. We are delighted to support today’s operation which will boost the Government’s efforts to strengthen the management of its public finances, promote the export potential of its coffee and mining industries, and improve the lives of the country’s poorest households.”

Today’s grant approval supports the Government’s Seventh Economic Reform Support Grant (ERSG VII), the second in a series of three grants that support the implementation of the country’s Second Poverty Reduction Strategy.

The operation includes three pillars. The first focuses on Public Finance Management and budget transparency. The second promotes private sector development and economic diversification, through a combination of measures, such as strengthening the private sector role in creating export-oriented activities, and promoting a transparent mining regulatory framework. The third pillar supports the creation of an effective and well-targeted safety net system and strengthens capacity to cope with external shocks such as international food price increases and drought.

Burundi's decade-long conflict resulted in the destruction of key economic and social infrastructure, leaving over 60 percent of the country’s population in poverty. Since 2005, the country has taken a series of important steps to improve stability, governance, and to lay foundations for economic developmentsays World Bank Sector Manager for Economic Policy and Governance, Albert Zeufack.

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 US$15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2014/213/AFR