WASHINGTON, March 31, 2010 – The Georgia Post-Conflict Joint Needs Assessment, Donor Conference, and Progress Report was named one of the 12 winners in the World Bank’s third annual competition ‘Improving the Lives of People in Europe and Central Asia’.
“In August of 2008, in the aftermath of the conflict, the Government of Georgia requested the World Bank to help design and implement a strategy to address immediate economic and social needs and to re-establish growth. The Government of Georgia itself took a series of prompt measures, including boosting of the consumer and investor confidence, fiscal adjustment, support to the war-affected people, infrastructure rehabilitation, unhindered provision of improved social, healthcare and education services,” said Kakha Baindurashvili, Minister of Finance of Georgia.
Georgia’s request to the World Bank to lead a post-war needs assessment brought about establishment of a team led by the World Bank and the United Nations,with the participation of the Asian Development Bank, the European Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank and the International Finance Corporation, working in close collaboration with the Government of Georgia. This team prepared the Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) for Georgia’s Economic Recovery, spelling out a comprehensive set of priorities and assistance modalities for the country. Donors were asked to assist the budget and the banking system as well as fund key social and infrastructure priorities.
Kakha Baindurashvili believes that the “JNA exercise benefitted both from guidance and ownership by the Government and from strong international partnership. The JNA laid the groundwork for a tremendously successful International Donors’ Conference for Georgia, where donors – governments and multilateral development agencies alike – pledged a total of $ 4.5 billion. The latest JNA progress will be released shortly. The Government of Georgia highly appreciates efforts of the World Bank Group in bringing this whole exercise to fruition.”
“Although many countries in the Europe and Central Asia region enjoyed very strong growth and higher living standards throughout the past decade, the global financial and economic crisis has hit this region the hardest,” said Philippe Le Houérou, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia. “But the winners of the 2010 ‘Improving the Lives of People in Europe and Central Asia’ competition show how innovative projects that improve the daily lives of people in the region despite the harmful effects of the recent financial turmoil on country economies.”
Le Houérou also emphasized that “the winners demonstrate real results, including job growth, establishment of small businesses and improved enterprise access to financing, improved health care and health protection and rehabilitated water and irrigation systems that have increased crop yields, just to name a few. These innovative projects and programs also show that a continuous partnership with the World Bank can leverage the effects of economic downturn and demonstrate a real positive impact on the ground.”
The winners of this year’s competition are (listed in an alphabetical order by country):
Armenia Rural Enterprise and Small Scale Commercial Agriculture Development Project
Armenia Lifeline Road Improvement Project
Azerbaijan Rural Investment Project
Bulgaria Policy Notes
Georgia Joint Needs Assessment, Donors Conference, and Progress Report
Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, and Tajikistan Food Crisis Response Projects
Latvia Safety Net and Social Reform Special Development Policy Loan
Macedonia Real Estate Cadastre and Registration
Russia Health Reform Implementation Project
Tajikistan Community Agriculture and Watershed Management Project
Turkey - Support to the Turkey Health Transformation Program
Ukraine Programmatic Financial Rehabilitation Development Policy Loan 1
The third annual celebration of results to recognize the winners will take place on June 3, 2010, in Washington, DC