Managing Director pays first visit to Central American nation
MANAGUA, July 11, 2014 — World Bank Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati ended a two day visit to Nicaragua this Friday. She called for a greater effort to accelerate extreme poverty elimination by providing opportunities to all citizens.
Indrawati met with President Daniel Ortega on July 10 and praised the country’s achievements in resuming economic growth following the global financial crisis, while achieving significant progress on the poverty front.
Nicaragua’s has achieved a real Gross Domestic Product growth of 5 percent in 2012 and 4.6 percent in 2013, returning to pre-crisis growth levels. Indrawati highlighted how the Bank could support social services delivery and the country’s competitiveness and productivity agenda.
“After decades of macroeconomic instability, war and natural disasters, Nicaragua has entered a phase where macroeconomic stability, peace and better risk management are the norm. Today, government programs are successful in providing better services to the poor and we will continue to support these efforts,” she said. "I believe Nicaragua is in a good position to face the challenges ahead if it can further increase productivity, competitiveness and broaden access to opportunities for all its citizens."
Indrawati, who was accompanied by the World Bank’s Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Familiar and the Country Director for Central America, J. Humberto López, visited a school, a maternity house and a mobile women’s police station in the department of Leon, in the country’s Pacific coast. The purpose of the field visits was to understand Nicaragua’s approach to human development, which relies on the active participation of local communities to improve public services such as education, health, and social protection. Indrawati announced that the Bank is focused on helping scale-up Nicaragua’s successful innovations for reaching the rural poor.
In the municipality of San Francisco Libre, on the shores of Lake Managua, she visited the “Rural Roads Infrastructure Improvement Project,” which combines community involvement and local workforce with a cost-effective and easy to maintain road building technique using cobblestones.
As part of the visit to San Francisco Libre, she signed an agreement for US$57 million in additional financing that will allow the construction of more than 100 kilometers of roads benefiting close to 100,000 people.
Indrawati, together with the Vice President of Nicaragua, Omar Halleslevens, and the Minister of Finance, Ivan Acosta, signed an agreement for a US$12 million credit to facilitate the entrance of Nicaragua into the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), which provides immediate funding in case of catastrophic events. Nicaragua is vulnerable to earthquakes and hurricanes that can represent major setbacks to development.