WASHINGTON, November 17, 2016— The World Bank has pledged $500 million over the next three years to help put the Central African Republic on the road to recovery. The announcement was made by Jan Walliser, the World Bank Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions, at the Brussels Donor Conference for the Central African Republic, on November 17, 2016. This ambitious program, financed through the World Bank IDA turn-around facility, as well as by ongoing commitments and potential IDA18 regional and special windows, represents ten times the regular allocation the country used to receive from the World Bank. It will support public finances management, reintegration of former combatants and displaced population and job creation through a large road reopening and the relaunch of the agriculture sector.
“The CAR, one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world, emerges from one of the harshest crises in its history but is now faced with a unique opportunity to usher in a period of peace, stability and sustainable development,” said Makhtar Diop, the World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region. “Given the country’s extensive recovery needs, this unprecedented effort is an investment for the future. With political will, and strong coordination with other partners, the CAR can become a post-conflict reconstruction success story,” he said.
Although tensions remain rife, the Central African Republic now has a democratically elected president and parliament and the country’s public finances are no longer in an acute crisis. But the country needs long-term investments. About 2.3 million people, around half of the population, are still in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. While support from the international community has helped stabilize the country after long decades of conflict, stabilization spending has now reached around $1.5 billion annually, the equivalent of the country’s GDP.
A Recovery and Peace Building Assessment (RPBA), prepared jointly by the Government of CAR, the World Bank, the United Nations and the European Union and, was presented at the Donor Conference. It identified urgent needs at $120 per capita, more than twice the actual aid provided in 2012 and includes measures aimed at strengthening security, supporting political reconciliation and inclusion and boosting economic recovery.
“The organization of credible elections, the Government’s commitment to implement major reforms and the end of open conflicts have created a window of opportunity to break the fragility trap,” said Paul Noumba Um, the World Bank Country Director for the Central African Republic, Mali, Niger, Chad and Guinea.