World Bank Awards Turkey Health Transformation Program 'Improving the Lives of People in Europe and Central Asia' 2010 Competition

April 5, 2010

ANKARA, April 5, 2010 – Support to the Turkey Health Transformation Program project from Turkey was named one of the 12 winners in the World Bank’s third annual ‘Improving the Lives of People in Europe and Central Asia’ 2010 competition.

"Turkey continues to make major strides in reforming its health and social security systems.  The Government’s Health Transformation Program, which World Bank loans and policy dialog supports, helps Turkey further broaden access to health care services, improve effectiveness and efficiency of health care spending, and strengthen health system stewardship and governance,” said a high level official at the Ministry of Health. “And for this we are happy to collaborate with the World Bank- who supports our reforms in making a major advance in Turkey’s long-term agenda to reach OECD and European health outcomes and standards.”

Support to the Turkey Health Transformation Program is about Turkey’s successful implementation of health reforms under the Health Transformation Program since 2003, supported by the Loan series provided by the World Bank  as well as the economic and sector work that has been done and policy dialogue which has resulted in expanding health insurance coverage for its population (especially the poor), improving access to health services (especially in rural areas) and improving health workforce productivity in the country.

“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.



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