IFC Helps Implement Best Risk Management Practices in ECA countries

April 8, 2011

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, April 8, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)  to help local banks and microfinance institutions become more sustainable and offer greater financial products and services by strengthening their risk management capacity and practices.

IFC and GARP signed an agreement to develop a formal risk management education and certification program to be implemented for the first time in 9 countries including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The training program will train employees from local financial institutions, which will help to reduce vulnerabilities of local institutions to future financial shocks. For the first time in the region, the training and certification will be conducted in Russian, enabling many more individuals and local firms to participate. IFC will select and engage partner-organizations in each country to provide on-site trainings and review classes.  IFC risk experts will help participants to identify and mitigate financial risks such as credit, market, and operational risks.

“IFC is working to build the capacity of financial intermediaries in Europe and Central Asia to better manage risk” said Patrick Luternauer, Business Line Leader Access to Finance Advisory Services. “The collaboration between IFC, GARP and local training partners in bringing this Risk Certification Program to the region will provide risk managers and other financial professionals with an opportunity to prepare and take exams under the auspices of an internationally recognized certification program in their own countries. This should further strengthen the financial risk management culture and climate in the region."

This initiative is part of the IFC Azerbaijan-Central Asia Financial Markets Infrastructure Advisory Services Project and the IFC Financial Markets Crisis Management Project, funded by the governments of Austria, Switzerland, Finland and the Netherlands. These Projects aim to strengthen financial markets in the region through strengthening credit information systems, risk management practices and education as well as facilitating the distressed loan resolution.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010.

About SECO
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs is the Swiss Confederation's competence center for all the core issues related to economic policy. Its aim is to create basic regulatory and economic policy conditions to enable business to flourish and benefit all. SECO also represents Switzerland in large multilateral trade organizations and international negotiations, and is involved in efforts to reduce poverty and help developing countries with transition economies build sustainable democratic societies and viable market economies. Each year, Switzerland spends about 1.9 billion Swiss francs on development cooperation and transition assistance to countries.

About Austrian Ministry of Finance (MOF), External Economic Program
MOF's external economic program supports the development and transition process in Southeast and East Europe. The program aims at promoting sustainable investments to support economic growth, create jobs and improve the business environment. Supporting local and foreign investments helps to improve the livelihood of people and progress towards a stable and prospering region. Our goal is to contribute to private sector growth through capacity building, SME support, facilitation of investments, and building business partnerships between Austrian and local investors.

Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs concentrates on foreign and security policy, trade policy and development policy as well as on significant foreign policy issues and international relations in general. The Ministry also assists other branches of government in the coordination of international affairs.

About the Agency for International Business and Cooperation
The Agency for International Business and Cooperation is part of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Its mission is to promote and encourage international business and international cooperation. As a government agency and a partner to private and public sector organizations, it aims to help them achieve success in their international operations.

About GARP
GARP is a not-for-profit organization and is the only globally recognized membership association for risk managers. GARP's goal is to help create a culture of risk awareness within organizations, from entry level to board level. GARP provides risk education to professionals of all levels, through on-site and online workshops, and skills-based training.

Media Contacts
In Tashkent
Tatyana Kraynova
Tel : +998 71 238-5925
In Moscow
Ilya Sverdlov
Tel : 7 (495) 411-7555