World Bank Approves Its Interim Strategy Note for Sao-Tomé and Principe

May 19, 2011

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2011 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved the institution’s Interim Strategy Note (ISN) for its work in support of the island of São-Tomé and Principe (STP).
The ISN provides an outline of the strategic direction for the World Bank’s program for STP until FY2012.This means that the ISN will extend the 2006-09 Country Assistance Strategy in order to lay out the analytical underpinnings for the development of a fully fledged Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) that is aligned with the STP’s forthcoming Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) currently under preparation by STP authorities and expected to be launched in FY13.
"This ISN proposes a selective and targeted support program built on the 2006-2009 CAS and STP’s own recently assessed development challenges," said Monica Sawyer, World Bank team leader for the strategy preparation. "We are fully aligned with the 2010 Government program aimed at transforming STP’s economy and making the most of regional integration. We have been paying due attention to lessons learned from our previous and current commitments in STP. With this interim strategy, we will continue our interaction with the Government of STP, members of civil society, and donors, so that we can build a fully fledged strategy that has solid foundations in the country’s priorities and duly aligned with the new Government’s PRSP."
The Bank Group’s support is organized into two pillars: a) - accelerate sustainable and broad-based economic growth, and b)- strengthen governance, public institutions, and human capital.
The first pillar will focus on four main areas: consolidating macro-stability, especially fiscal sustainability; strengthening infrastructure with emphasis on energy and telecommunications; enhancing STP’s investment climate; and strengthening the financial system. As for the second pillar, the proposed activities seek to strengthen governance, public institutions, and human capital, and involve a set of activities, including strengthening transparency and accountability of up-coming petroleum revenues; strengthening transparency and accountability of budgetary operations; raising educational attainments; improving health sector delivery; creating strategies and information to allow measuring success; and strengthening environmental protection to benefit the poor.
Both pillars are aimed at the removal of constraints to growth. Under the strategy, the Bank expects to disburse an estimate of US$4.7 million in FY11, and US$2 million in FY12 on grant terms, plus up to US$14.9 million (of which US$9.5 million would be available for FY11 and US$4.6 million for FY12), mostly from regional IDA funds through the Central Africa Backbone Program in the form of direct financing to the private sector, as well as additional funds for advisory services. In addition, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) would provide US$3.25 million allocation of grant funds during FY11-13.

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