WASHINGTON, April 29, 2014– The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$3.8 million grant to the Union of the Comoros Government for general budget support.
The program proposes an Economic Governance Reform Grant (EGRG), the first in a series of two annual programmatic development policy operations (DPO). The focus of the series is to improve economic management and transparency, and enhance competition and improve performance in key infrastructure sectors (ICT and electricity).
“The reforms supported by this DPO are expected to contribute to reducing Comoros' poverty and achieving shared prosperity,” said Mark R. Lundell, the World Bank Country Director for Comoros. “The operation will help improve the management of the limited public resources to reorient them towards poverty reducing sectors, improve the management of the electricity sector and liberalize the ICT sector to increase the competitiveness of the economy and facilitate job creation.”
Accelerating economic growth and employment creation is key to reduce extreme poverty, while improving public expenditure will also serve to partially cope with vulnerability.
The DPO supports the implementation of the government's Public Financial Management (PFM) Reform Strategy. Financing will continue to help efforts toward fiscal stabilization and improved public service delivery. The operation will build on key reforms spelled out in three of the six pillars of the country's Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Paper, namely: (i) stabilize the economy and lay the groundwork for strong equitable growth; (ii) strengthen key sectors by focusing on institution-building and ensuring a broader role for the private sector; and (iii) strengthen governance and social cohesion.
Learning from previous operations, this programmatic DPO coordinates policy reforms with other sector operations and donors, to ensure timely technical assistance is provided to assist with implementation. Given Comoros' limited institutional capacity, it is critical to focus policy reforms in a few relevant areas that are broadly supported by donors, and to provide adequate assistance to support implementation.
“The proposed programmatic operation reinforces on-going dialogue in public financial management (PFM), anticorruption, statistics, energy, fisheries and telecom sectors supported by Bank projects and technical assistance, said Rafael Munoz Moreno, The World Bank Task Team Leader for the Program. “Furthermore, the programmatic DPO serves as a tool for close collaboration and coordination among donors, lowering the transaction costs of reforms.”