WASHINGTON, June 17, 2010 — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$ 42.5 million loan and a US$ 5.5 million Global Environment Facility[i] (GEF) grant for the Integrated Solid Waste Management Project for the Republic of Belarus. The goal of this Project is to increase environmental benefits of integrated solid waste management and reduce environmental and health risks associated with the presence and release of the Persisted Organic Pollutants (POPs).
Belarus’ commitment to environmental protection is reflected in a number of long term national programs. The Integrated Solid Waste Management Project is aligned with the priorities outlined in the Country Assistance Strategy of the World Bank for the Republic of Belarus, which aims to achieve sustained economic growth and support the environment, service delivery, and efficient utilization of public services.
The Project supports the design, construction and supervision of a 120,000 ton/year modern mechanical waste separation plant in the City of Grodno, and improving the collection of separate waste in the city of Grodno. The initiative seeks to recover recyclable materials and includes implementation of public information and awareness raising activities.
“The Project will help reduce, recycle and reuse valuable materials in the City of Grodno utilizing best international practices of integrated solid waste management,” said Maha Armaly, World Bank Task Team Leader for the Project. “The GEF financed component will support the Government’s actions to minimize and mitigate environmental and health risks related to POPs.”
The GEF grant will strengthen national capacity to manage hazardous wastes, specifically those associated with POPs, and support Belarus in meeting its obligations under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Grant activities aim to ensure environmentally sound management of the destruction of high-priority stockpiles of POPs and associated contaminated equipment, provide secure storage for lower risk stockpiles, and support planning infrastructure to manage future POPs generation.
The new World Bank loan is at a rate equal to US Dollar LIBOR plus the Variable Spread. Loan repayment period is fifteen years including five-year grace period.
Belarus joined the World Bank in 1992. Since then, the Bank’s lending commitments to Belarus totaled US$ 685 million for 10 projects. About thirty national programs received grant financing totaling US$ 24 million. Belarus is currently using World Bank financing in five infrastructure projects.
[i] The GEF unites 182 countries in partnership with international institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Today the GEF is the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment. An independent financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. Since 1991, GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition. GEF has provided $9 billion in grants and leveraged $40 billion in co-financing for over 2,600 projects in over 165 countries.
The World Bank Group is one of GEF’s implementing agencies and supports countries in preparing GEF co-financed projects and supervises their implementation. It plays the primary role in ensuring the development and management of investment projects. The Bank draws upon its investment experience in eligible countries to promote investment opportunities and to mobilize private sector, bilateral, multilateral, and other government and non-government sector resources that are consistent with GEF objectives and national sustainable development strategies. Since 1991, the World Bank Group has committed $1.52 billion in GEF resources and $2.25 billion in Bank group co-financing for GEF projects in 80 countries. In addition to GEF and Bank resources, the World Bank has mobilized additional co-financing of $5.48 billion from other donors.