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FEATURE STORY

The World Bank Released the New Interim Strategy Note for Kosovo

February 18, 2010

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • This ISN is the first to be developed after Kosovo' s declaration of independence in February 2008 and its membership in the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in June 2009;
  • Since 1999, the Bank has provided about US$170 million through 28 grant operations in a broad range of sectors.

WASHINGTON, February 18, 2010 - The World Bank released the new Interim Strategy Note (ISN) of the World Bank Group for Kosovo today. The ISN is a key document that sets out the framework of cooperation between the World Bank Group and the Government of Kosovo, and describes the Bank's planned operations in the country - lending, analytical work, and technical assistance. The new ISN for Kosovo covers the period 2010 - 2011 and envisages World Bank financing of about $87.5 million with possible additional financing from the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank' s private sector lending arm, of about $20 million. In addition, key aspects of the strategy will be financed by grants from other bilateral and multilateral external partners, amounting to over $195 million.

"Fostering sustainable, employment-generating, and inclusive growth," said Jane Armitage, World Bank Regional Director for South-East Europe, "is critical for a thriving, young, multiethnic country with high unemployment and could go a long way towards reducing strains within the society which derive from the ethnic conflicts of the 1990s and beyond."

This ISN is the first to be developed after Kosovo' s declaration of independence in February 2008 and its membership in the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in June 2009. The program will help consolidate the shift from post-conflict reconstruction towards longer - term economic development. Taking into account Kosovo's post conflict and development challenges, Bank Group experience in Kosovo, and the activities of Kosovo's other external partners, this FY10 - 11 ISN proposes a selective and targeted support program focused on:

  • accelerating growth that is broad-based, employment-generating and sustainable
  • supporting social cohesion through governance reform and transparent, inclusive institutions.

The strategic focus of this ISN on broad - based growth and governance stems from the Government's key orientations and its policy priorities, in turn related to the country' s conflict- affected history.

"Assisting Kosovo to build an efficient, accountable public sector by strengthening public institutions, increasing the transparency of its processes and creating an environment conducive for private sector development is equally important to the country’s development prospects and improved social cohesion in the longer run," said Ranjit Nayak, World Bank Country Manager for Kosovo.

The strategy builds on the previous ISN and the Sustainable Employment and Development Policy Program (SEDPP), established with the Czech Republic, Denmark, the European Community, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is also fully aligned with the 2010 - 2012 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) developed by the Government of Kosovo. The strategy pays due attention to lessons learned from the Bank Group' s involvement in Kosovo since the end of the conflict, the execution of ongoing government or donor-sponsored programs, and consultations with the Government of Kosovo and the community of bilateral and multilateral donors.

World Bank-supported projects and programs implemented under the previous strategy notes have already generated substantial results, including:

  • Some 600 schools, approximately half of the schools in Kosovo, have undergone significant improvements including enhanced infrastructure, more computers, musical instruments and equipment, and textbooks and clothes. Also, investments have been made in teacher training and vulnerable groups have greater access to schools as a result of the Education Participation Improvement Project 1 and 2;
  • Over 300 community works and social services projects, two thirds of which were schools or water supply systems, have been carried out under the Community Development Fund project from 2001 - 2008. This has been a significant contribution toward improving the lives of individuals and communities across Kosovo;
  • Around 5,000 young people benefited directly from the programs offered by the youth centers supported by the Kosovo Youth Development Project, which include courses in English and other foreign languages, IT skills and knowledge, peace and conflict management workshops, and livelihood and life skills (including hygiene skills, dance classes, arts, and sports). More than 15 percent of the beneficiaries are from minority communities, around 35 percent are from rural communities, and about 45 percent are females.
  • Over 1020 patients have undergone testing for A/H1N1 flu in the Virology Lab at the National Public Health Institute, which was constructed and equipped as part of the Avian Influenza project;
    Since 1999, the Bank has provided about US$170 million through 28 grant operations in a broad range of sectors. The Bank also leveraged an additional US$70 million from other external partners. Most of these projects have now been completed. Six are still active, representing about US$43 million in net commitments.

Since 1999, the Bank has provided about US$170 million through 28 grant operations in a broad range of sectors. The Bank also leveraged an additional US$70 million from other external partners. Most of these projects have now been completed. Six are still active, representing about US$43 million in net commitments.

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