WASHINGTON, December 19, 2011 – The Board of the World Bank today approved the seventh Poverty Reduction Support Grant (PRSG-7) in the amount of US$30 million (about FCFA15 billion) in favor of the Republic of Benin. This new operation is designed to support the implementation of the Beninese Government's third Growth Strategy for Poverty Reduction (SCRP 2011-2015).
PRSG-7 is a stand-alone operation intended to secure meaningful commitment to an ambitious reform effort in support of Benin’s third poverty reduction strategy. PRSG-7 will increase the focus on improving public sector policy and strengthening public administration (budget reform, procurement reform, internal control and audit, civil service reform, decentralization, and structural reforms) in order to strengthen and make more effective government’s efforts to enhance private sector competitiveness through improved public services. PRSG-7 is complemented by other specific IDA operations in the areas of competitiveness and growth, particularly agricultural diversification and rural development; private sector development; road transport and trade facilitation infrastructure; telecommunications investments; energy sector infrastructure, regulatory and institutional capacity building programs; and environment and forestry investments.
The new budget support program is fully aligned with the World Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), and with the World Bank’s Strategy for Africa. It provides programmatic support for direct implementation of the Government's reform agenda in two of the key areas targeted by the CAS, namely: (i) strengthening competitiveness and accelerating private sector-led growth; and (ii) promoting better governance and strengthening institutional capacities. It also focuses directly on governance issues in the areas of budget management and procurement, while also fostering increased competitiveness through agricultural diversification, strengthening of the business climate, and through key reforms in the port and transport sectors.
At the occasion of the Board’s approval of PRSG-7, Madani M. Tall, Country Director for Benin, declared: “As its predecessors, PRSG-7 will continue to be the primary instrument in the Bank’s dialogue with the Beninese government and the development partners on the country’s key policy issues. We therefore encourage the government to continue to adopt a coherent approach in implementing its economic and structural reforms program”.