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World Bank Signed Agreement with Bulgaria in Support of agrIculture and Hydro-Melioration Sector*

March 22, 2014

SOFIA, March 22, 2014 – The Bulgarian government signed today an agreement with the World Bank for the delivery of analytical and advisory services in support of the agriculture and hydro-melioration sector in the country. The agreement was signed by Minister of Agriculture and Food Dimitar Grekov and Markus Repnik, World Bank Country Manager for Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

Under the agreement, the World Bank will provide support in the preparation of the national strategy for irrigation, suggesting options on more efficient agricultural water use, climate change adaptation policies and on the prevention of floods in rural areas. The development of this strategy is instrumental for Bulgaria in order to prepare for the new EU programming period 2014-2020 and further enhance the country’s agricultural competitiveness and resilience to adverse weather and climate change.

“The agreement is another illustration of the innovative partnership Bulgaria is establishing with the World Bank Group and other International Financial Institutions, as it is the first EU country to draw on the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development for this type of services,” said Markus Repnik, World Bank Country Manager for Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The service agreement is developed under the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of Bulgaria and the World Bank on partnership and support in the implementation of EU funds. The MoU set the scene for Bulgaria’s innovative knowledge partnership with the World Bank as it includes a mechanism that allows the Government to draw on EU Funds to cover the costs of knowledge and advisory services provided from international financial institutions.

* The term hydro-melioration implies irrigation, drainage and flood protection of agricultural lands

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