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The World Bank Europe and Central Asia Vice President,Philippe Le Houérou, Visiting Kyrgyz Republic

May 10, 2012

BISHKEK, May 10, 2012 – Mr. Philippe Le Houérou, the World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Region is visiting Kyrgyz Republic on May 14-17, 2012. During his four-day stay, he will meet with the President Almazbek Atambayev, Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov, key members of the Kyrgyz Government, as well as with the members of the Parliament, representatives of the diplomatic community, development partners and private sector.

Mr. Philippe Le Houérou’s visit, as part of his Central Asian tour, will focus on financial, economic and social developments and challenges in Kyrgyzstan, the Cabinet’s governance and anti-corruption reforms, and the ongoing close partnership between Kyrgyz Republic and the World Bank. He will also pay visit to the World Bank-supported agriculture project sites in Bishkek and Chui valley to discuss results achieved so far and meet with project beneficiaries.

“I am pleased to announce Mr. Le Houérou’s visit to the country”, says the WB Country Manager for Kyrgyz Republic Alex Kremer. “As the 20th anniversary of the World Bank-Kyrgyzstan partnership approaches, it is time not just to celebrate its achievements, but also to tackle jointly the country’s pressing governance and development challenges”.

Philippe Le Houérou became Vice President for the Europe and Central Asia region in August 2009.

Born in Montpellier, France, Le Houérou grew up in North Africa and Italy and went on to attend the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (France), followed by an MBA at Columbia University in New York and a Ph.D in International Economics from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris.

 Le Houérou joined the World Bank as part of its Young Professionals Program and has worked in the East Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Europe and Central Asia regions.

In the mid-1990s, he served as Country Economist for the Russia program and advised on budget management and public expenditure issues.   After Russia, Le Houérou worked on poverty and economic issues in southern Africa, including a stint as the Country Manager for Madagascar, where he supported the government’s reform program and the opening up of the country’s economy.

In May 2006, Le Houérou became Vice-President of Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships (CFP). In this position he worked with donor countries to replenish the resource envelope of the International Development Association (IDA) - the Bank’s concessionary loan arm that supports development programs in the poorest countries with long-term, interest-free credits and grants.  Le Houérou twice led the team that successfully replenished IDA. He also oversaw a reform of donor trust fund management and innovative finance methods for the World Bank Group.  In between the two IDA efforts, Le Houérou served as acting Vice-President of the World Bank’s Information Solutions Group, which supports the Bank’s business strategy and operations through cost-effective and efficient information and technology solutions.

As Vice President for the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia region, Le Houérou supervises 800+ staff working in headquarters, 23 country offices, and 2 satellite offices, serving 30 countries.

Le Houerou will be accompanied by Mr. Saroj Kumar Jha, the WB Regional Director for Central Asia, as well as by the WB country team members.

The World Bank’s overall mission in the country is to promote economic growth, reduce poverty, and encourage a better quality of life. The Kyrgyz Republic obtains finance from the World Bank on highly concessional terms – 45% is pure grant, and 55% loans. The loans attract no interest and only a 0.75 percent service charge. Credits are repayable in 40 years, including a 10-year grace period, while grants require no repayment. The World Bank also offers advisory services free of charge from its own operating budget.

The Kyrgyz Republic joined the World Bank Group in September 1992. Since then, the World Bank has been a leading development partner with commitments of US$ 1,089 billion (in the form of grants and highly concessional credits) and US$ 882.8 million disbursements. The current portfolio сconsists of 17 active projects worth US$ 355.43 million focusing on private, financial and energy sectors, transport and infrastructure development, and health care reform.

Media Contacts
In Bishkek
Dinara Akmatbekova
Tel : (996 312) 45-40-40
In Washington
Elena Karaban
Tel : (202) 473-9277