The Strategic Cooperation Program (SCP) between Bahrain and the World Bank started in 1984. The program, through Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) engagements, has supported the Ministry of Finance and the Bahrain Central Bank across multiple sectors ranging from fiscal management, to private sector development, to supporting the government’s economic diversification and privatization program-particularly in public transport, as well as providing a comprehensive analysis of privatization opportunities (Blueprint for Privatization).
More recently, all ongoing activities are focused on implementation support. The Bank’s multi-year strategic commitments in Bahrain are:
• The Bank is assisting the Ministry of Finance and respective stakeholders in developing the Kingdom Energy Efficiency Program (KEEP). In the process, the Bank provides implementation assistance to various initiatives including smart metering, energy building codes, utility efficiency labeling, solar applications, etc.
• Support to the Supreme Health Council (SHC) in Bahrain to implement a comprehensive set of health sector reforms – in the areas of finance, service delivery and health management information system – to rely increasingly on efficient insurance mechanisms in service delivery.
The size of RAS portfolio in Bahrain increased from around $400,000 in 2011 to nearly $1 million in 2016. The RAS portfolio with the Kingdom of Bahrain is expected to develop even further as the Bank continues to engage with government entities.
The Bank is also planning to support the Central Bank of Bahrain in order to enhance the knowledge of relevant agencies in Bahrain in carrying out an assessment of money laundering and terrorism financing risks and developing risk-based action plans to mitigate these risks. Going forward, the authorities will be able to manage and mitigate these risks at the country and institutional level.