WASHINGTON, October 23, 2012 – The World Bank’s Board approved two International Development Association (IDA) grants for Burundi today, of US$25 million each. One will help the country continue its recent dramatic progress on improving health services for women and children using an approach called “results-based financing”. The other will support Burundi’s transformation from a post-conflict state into a more stable economy. A third US$20 million grant from the Health Results Innovation Trust Fund, managed by the World Bank and funded by the United Kingdom and Norway, will co-finance the health results work.
“Burundi now has a mechanism in place to rapidly deliver health results. I am pleased that we will use it to reach over 3.5 million people, especially women and children, with critical reproductive health and nutrition services,” said Rachidi B. Radji, World Bank Country Manager for Burundi. “I am also delighted the World Bank is working with the Government of Burundi to help improve public financial management, diversify the economy, and cushion vulnerable households from shocks such as rising food and fuel prices.”
Since mid-2010, Burundi has made health funding more effective by introducing a strong focus on results. Health facilities are now paid based on verified delivery of essential and often life-saving health services. In just two years, the number of children immunized has risen by 20 percent, births in health facilities by 23 percent, and pregnant women treated to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies by nearly 60 percent.
These results have been achieved under the Burundi Health Sector Development Support Project funded by the World Bank and the Health Results Innovation Trust Fund. The new health grants will expand nutrition and reproductive health services aimed at improving maternal and child health and survival rates.
Also, Burundi’s $25 million Sixth Economic Reform Support Grant (ERSG VI) program with the World Bank will:
- increase efficiency and transparency in public spending;
- improve conditions for private investment, promote greater private participation and market access in the export and service sectors, and diversify the economy;
- protect the most vulnerable households from economic shocks such as rising food and fuel prices through better targeted social safety net programs; and,
- reduce the number of days it takes to register a business and to obtain a construction permit in Burundi.