In fiscal year 2014 (FY14), the World Bank Group’s financial commitment to SSA, a major priority for the institution, was US$15.3 billion and included:
- $10.2 billion in the International Development Association (IDA) credits, grants, and guarantees, up from $8 billion from the previous year.
- $4.2 billion from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for private sector development projects.
- $420 million in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) lending.
- $516 in the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) guarantees for projects.
The Bank Group works collaboratively to tackle development challenges and focuses on regional projects in sustainable energy, irrigation, water management, and food security, and also on job training programs for youth, preventing malaria and other tropical diseases, and on social protection for poor families across the region.
With the recent outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the World Bank Group has mobilized a $400 million financing package for those countries hardest hit by the crisis, including $230 million toward the emergency response and $170 million for medium- and long-term projects. Of the $230 million in emergency funding, $117 million is already in the countries, including $58 million for Liberia, $34 million for Sierra Leone, and $25 million for Guinea. Most of the $117 million ($105 million) was approved by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors on Sept. 16, and was new money provided in grants from the World Bank Group’s IDA Crisis Response Window. The other $12 million in the emergency financing was reallocated in August 2014 from existing health projects in Liberia and Sierra Leone ($6 million per country) to make some funds immediately available and take advantage of the existing implementation capacity set up for these projects.
The World Bank Group also transferred $6 million in a project preparation advance for Guinea, and announced on September 25 that it had shifted $113 million in funding to the emergency response, bringing total emergency funding to $230 million. These funds are paying for essential supplies and drugs, personal protective equipment and infection prevention control materials, health workers training, hazard pay and death benefits to Ebola health workers and volunteers, contact tracing, vehicles, data management equipment, and door-to-door public health education outreach.
On September 25, 2014 the World Bank Group announced $170 million in new funding to help the three countries build their public health systems and strengthen the region’s disease control capacity; the Board of Executive Directors will consider this funding in the coming weeks.
In FY14, the Bank Group focused its efforts to act quickly and effectively in emergency situations across Africa. In response to the crisis in Central African Republic, the Bank delivered emergency development funds of over $70 million to help restore key government services and to support food distribution and health services. Major regional initiatives focused on the challenges of fragility and conflict. In May 2013, the World Bank Group announced a $1 billion development pledge to help countries in the Great Lakes region provide better health and education services, generate more cross border trade, and fund hydroelectricity projects in support of the Great Lakes peace agreement.
Signaling a renewed focus on boosting economic growth and lifting people out of devastating poverty in Africa’s hard-hit Sahel region, the World Bank Group pledged $1.5 billion to the Sahel in November 2013, which is additional to its ongoing development multi-country and national programs in the region already worth several billion dollars. The funding will create more hydropower and other sources of clean energy to greatly expand irrigation and transform agriculture; protect and expand pastoralism for more than 80 million people living in the Sahel who rely on it as a major source of food and livelihoods; expand health services for women and girls; and improve regional communications and connectivity between countries.
Sub-Saharan Africa is blessed with large hydropower resources that can create electricity, yet only 10% of its potential has been harnessed. Boosting access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy is a primary objective of the Bank’s work in Africa. During the fiscal year (FY14) projects focused on developing hydropower potential and providing new forms of sustainable power to increase energy production and benefit millions of Africans.
In a major push, IBRD, IFC, and MIGA combined forces under a joint Energy Business Plan for Nigeria. The plan will support Nigeria’s energy reform program and help increase installed generation capacity by about 1,000 MW while mobilizing nearly $1.7 billion of private sector financing for Africa’s largest economy. Many projects benefit from IBRD, IFC, and MIGA working together across the World Bank Group to better leverage their development impact in the region.
In FY14, the Bank also supported the 80-megawatt Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project in Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania, and provided a $100-million grant to Burundi for the Jiji-Mulembwe hydropower project. Both initiatives will increase electricity generation capacity benefitting millions of Africans.
The Bank supports country-led efforts to improve agricultural productivity by linking farmers to markets and reducing risk and vulnerability; increase rural employment; and make agriculture more environmentally sustainable. Projects during FY14 included support for improving pastoralism through community development and livelihoods in Ethiopia, boosting agribusiness in Senegal, and pushing the envelope on landscape management, notably in the Sahel.
Higher education plays a key role in promoting economic growth and development especially for Africa’s fastest growing youth population. As one of the largest financiers of higher education in the region, the World Bank is mobilizing its knowledge and leadership behind countries to champion education. The World Bank’s new $150-million Africa Higher-Education Centers of Excellence project is funding 19 university-based centers for advanced education in West and Central Africa. It will support regional specialization among participating universities in mathematics, science, engineering and ICT to address regional challenges.
Last Updated: Oct 10, 2014