WASHINGTON, December 18, 2013 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$30 million to support Cote d’Ivoire’s efforts to strengthen peace-building by bringing employment opportunities and access to social services to thousands of citizens, especially vulnerable youth, who have been affected by the nation’s recent conflict.
Côte d’Ivoire, with the second largest economy in West Africa, is at a critical juncture as the nation addresses the causes and legacies of conflict while simultaneously accelerating economic growth and development. The post-electoral crisis of November 2010 left over a million citizens displaced and without education, jobs or health services.
Today’s project aims to boost growth and help consolidate peace-building efforts by strengthening social cohesion through reintegration activities throughout the territory. At least 9,000 vulnerable young men and women will benefit from economic and social support, and 200 at-risk communities will see new infrastructure and local development activities. IDA,* the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, will finance the project.
“Cote d’Ivoire has made significant progress towards stability and growth following the recent crisis,” said Madani M. Tall, World Bank Country Director for Cote d’Ivoire. “This project’s focus on conflict-affected communities’ and individuals’ opportunities for economic reintegration and access to social services will accelerate Cote d’Ivoire’s crisis recovery and strengthen the prospects for sustainable peace.”
The funds will provide additional financing to scale-up the successful Post-Conflict Assistance Project (PCAP) into new fragile areas and expand its development outcome. More than 30,000 young people (over 100 percent of the project’s goal) have already participated in PCAP’s activities to reintegrate them into the national economy, including 9,500 women and 7,000 ex-combatants.
As of today, 740 community infrastructures have been rehabilitated or constructed. With the additional financing, it will be more than 1,000 infrastructures that the project will have supported across the entire territory. The Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach adopted by the project has also proven efficient in fostering social cohesion and promoting peaceful resolution of conflicts at the local level.
The nation has also made great strides in modernizing its civil registry. Today’s project will focus on identity and citizenship as a way to improve service delivery and accountability with activities such as rehabilitating or constructing civil registry offices, providing capacity building to registration officers and community leaders, and supporting civil registration with a focus on children in the 200 targeted communities.
“Cote d’Ivoire is now presented with a window of opportunity to achieve sustainable peace and development,” said Paul Bance, World Bank Task Team Leader for this project. “The strong and unique development impact of this post-conflict project has been repeatedly acknowledged by beneficiaries and partners as step towards building resilience and expediting Cote d’Ivoire’s recovery process. I look forward to supporting its implementation.”
* 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.