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DRC: World Bank Approves Funds to Boost Jobs for Youth and Rejuvenate the Public Service Workforce

December 12, 2013

WASHINGTON, December 12, 2013 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$77 million International Development Association (IDA)* grant to support the Democratic Republic of Congo’s efforts to rejuvenate the workforce by strengthening the human resource management capacity of several ministries, improving access to retirement benefits and recruiting talented young professionals.

“The DRC Government has made substantial progress in stabilizing the economy, and building a functioning public administration is one of the country’s key development challenges,” said World Bank Country Director for Democratic Republic of Congo Eustache Ouayoro. “Today’s project will support the Government’s efforts to create an effective public administration and help DRC’s progress in boosting economic growth, creating jobs, and reducing poverty.”

Today’s financing supports the Public Service Reform and Rejuvenation Project, that aligns with the Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper II. The project will benefit civil servants eligible for retirement, young graduates seeking to make a career in the public service, and existing government employees in five target ministries and their agencies. By supporting efforts to foster a culture of integrity and meritocracy among civil servants, the project is also expected to strengthen state capacity to deliver services to the citizens.

The Public Service Reform and Rejuvenation Project has two components. The first aims to support the Government of DRC to set the foundations for an orderly and effective management of the career of civil servants. It will also support the modernization of the organization of the Ministries of Finance, Budget, Planning, Public Services, and Portfolio to enable them to carry out their functions effectively across the country. It will also support a strong communication strategy to build broad consensus around the public service reform objectives.

The second component will support the rejuvenation of the workforce through steps designed to improve management of the retirement process (including payment of benefits to the retiring of about 6000 civil servants), combined with legal and technical support for the creation of a sustainable public service pension system. The project will also support the recruitment of 500 young professionals and their integration into the public service.

“Today’s project will assist the DRC as it makes headway towards increasing state effectiveness and improving good governance,” said World Bank Task Team Leader Chiara Bronchi. “This project will benefit current and future employees and result in improved service delivery for DRC’s estimated 71 million citizens of whom almost 71.3 percent live on less than a dollar a day,” said World Bank Co-Task Team Leader Marco Larizza.

* 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:
2014/244/AFR