World Bank allocates US$30 million to support economic and structural reforms
WASHINGTON, April 9, 2013 – The Board of the World Bank today approved the Eighth Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC-8) in the amount of US$30 million (about FCFA15 billion) for the Republic of Benin. This new operation which will be released in a single tranche is designed to support economic and structural reforms closely aligned with the country’s third Growth Strategy for Poverty Reduction (SCRP 2011-2015).
PRSC-8 builds on the reforms supported by the previous budget support operation (PRSG-7) and will help strengthen Benin’s public administration and public sector governance (budget planning and execution, procurement, internal control and audit, and anti-corruption measures). It will also focus on private sector competitiveness through a strengthened business environment, conducive to private sector growth. In addition, PRSC-8 is expected to have a positive impact on poverty reduction, by improving the delivery of essential services and freeing up resources for pro-poor and poverty reduction expenditures.
The new operation leverages and complements other specific IDA operations in the areas of competitiveness, growth and services delivery, such as (inter alia) the Competitiveness and Integrated Growth Opportunity Project, the Abidjan-Lagos Trade and Transport Facilitation Project, the Agricultural Diversification Support Project, and the Benin Decentralized Community-Driven Service Delivery Project.
PRSC-8 is fully aligned with the World Bank’s Strategy for Africa and with the World Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy for Benin (CPS- 2013-2017 -- also approved by the Bank’s Board today) which notes the importance of relying on a combination of development policy and investment operations to encourage a coherent approach to supporting structural reforms.
“PRSCs are key instruments for the Bank in its policy dialogue with government and development partners, as they help address the increasing need for donor harmonization around key reforms”, says Madani M. Tall, Country Director for Benin. He encouraged the Government to continue to adopt a coherent approach in implementing its economic and structural reform program and stressed in particular “…the need for continued focus on port and customs reforms and attention to resolving outstanding issues in the cotton and agriculture sectors”.