BAMAKO, 12 March 2013 – The World Bank’s Vice President for the Africa Region, Mr. Makhtar Diop, will visit Mali on Sunday, March 17 for two days of development talks with Interim President Dioncounda Traore, Prime Minister Diango Cissoko, and other senior government officials.
Diop will discuss how the World Bank can offer new help to Mali and other countries in The Sahel during a period of political and economic uncertainty in the region. .
"Mr. Diop’s two day visit will allow him to witness up close how the crisis has affected the Malian people and their livelihoods, discuss prospects for peace and reconciliation, and open public consultations on the direction of the new World Bank development strategy for Mali and the wider Sahel sub-region," said Ousmane Diagana, the World Bank Country Director for Mali, Guinea, Chad and Niger.
Diagana says the World Bank would focus on restoring health, education, and other vital services, especially in the country’s northern communities, rebuilding and repairing damaged infrastructure, and helping to create more business confidence in Mali for a return of private sector-led growth and more jobs.
During his visit, Mr. Diop will hold meetings with Malian authorities, including Interim President Dioncounda Traore, Prime Minister Diango Cissoko, the Minister of Finance, Tiena Coulibaly, other Cabinet Ministers and Mali's development partners. He will host a press conference just before his departure from the country.
Prior to the country’s political crisis, Mali had been systematically reducing poverty. Household surveys suggest that poverty declined from 49.1 percent in 2001 to 36.2 percent in 2010.
Since 2010, however, poverty has likely increased from 36.2% to 38.1% of the Malian population as a result of the drought of 2011 and the political crisis of 2012.
The World Bank is one of Mali's leading partners with a total commitment of $732.75 million in development financing. This comprises a current portfolio of 13 national and seven regional projects in the areas of rural development, basic services, energy, transport, institutional reform and decentralization