WASHINGTON, June 9, 2011 - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a financing credit to the Republic of Moldova in the amount of US$ 37 million for the Strengthening the Effectiveness of the Social Safety Net Project. The main objective of this credit is to improve the efficiency and equity of Moldova’s social safety net through a fiscally sustainable expansion and strengthening of the Ajutor Social Program.
“Reforming the social assistance system is a priority for the Republic of Moldova,” said Valentina Buliga, Minister of Labor, Social Protection and Family. “We see our partnership with the World Bank and this project as the founding block to successfully achieving this priority and consolidating a social assistance system that reaches the most vulnerable.”
Strengthening the Effectiveness of the Social Safety Net Project aims to support the Government of Moldova in addressing the challenge of sustainably reducing the fiscal deficit, while ensuring the resumption in growth and poverty reduction by improving the effectiveness of the social safety whilst gradually reducing its fiscal burden.
The US$ 37 million will help the government to create fiscal space for expanding the recently introduced poverty-targeted cash transfers, the Ajutor Social Program, while scaling down categorical benefits and strengthening the overall social assistance system.
The objectives of the Strengthening the Effectiveness of the Social Safety Net Project are the following:
- Support the interim transitional costs of expanding the Ajutor Social Program while other benefits are consolidated (nominative compensations for utilities, child benefits, disability benefits);
- Support measures to strengthen the “basic architecture” of the social safety net, with a focus on the Ajutor Social Program.