WASHINGTON, October 1, 2013 – The World Bank Group discussed a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Mauritania today. The four-year strategy, ending in 2016, will guide the World Bank’s support for the country.
“Mauritania’s Country Partnership Strategy reflects the Bank’s long-term commitment to help Mauritania implement its Poverty Reduction Strategy for economic growth and inclusion and poverty reduction,” says Vera Songwe World Bank Country Director for Mauritania. “The Bank’s involvement in Mauritania will support job creation related to the country’s booming mining industry, help develop the private sector in cities, and improve access to much-needed social services, which are all crucial for achieving the ambitious goals set by the Mauritanian Government,” she said.
The new strategy foresees total financial support by the World Bank Group of US$102 million in new International Development Association (IDA) lending, with access to Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) funding.
“The CPS is fully aligned with the Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP-3) and will help address key challenges to unlock the potential for sustainable economic development, shared prosperity, and poverty reduction”, added Moctar Thiam, the Country Manager for Mauritania. The program will include both ongoing World Bank Group activities and proposed new operations and will be organized along two main pillars:
Increasing economic growth and diversification by – supporting infrastructure development, promoting the private sector, and strengthening the financial sector. This pillar will also identify ways to trigger more inclusive growth linked to the thriving mining industry, and help to unleash the potential of the fishery and agriculture sectors.
Improving economic governance and the delivery of services by – improving public sector performance, with special emphasis on improving the operations of local governments and increasing the country’s food security. This will include continuing efforts in the area of education and skills formation, as well as support for better public access to basic social services, and greater efficiency of safety net programs.
IFC’s operations will be focused on private sector initiatives, especially those designed to improve the infrastructure, banking, and agribusiness sectors. To ensure that economic growth is inclusive and sustainable, IFC’s programs will also focus on building support for small and medium (SME) enterprises.
The Board discussions are taking place as Mauritania has experienced significant structural changes due mostly to repeated droughts, and a massive rural-urban exodus which has drastically reduced the share of nomads in the population and increased the share of the urban population to more than 40 percent.
The current IDA portfolio for Mauritania consists of eight active operations (including two regional projects), representing a total commitment of US$125.1 million. The IDA portfolio is complemented by a number of trust funds, for a current total committed amount of US$31.3 million.