ERBIL, Kurdistan Regional Government-Iraq November 13, 2014 – The World Bank Group is bringing its global expertise in socio-economic development to the Kurdistan Regional Government-Iraq (KRG) through four technical assistance agreements signed between the two partners in Erbil on Thursday November 13, 2014. The activities are aligned with the KRG’s Vision 2020, whose aim is to allow of the people in KRG to enjoy the benefits of freedom, health, welfare, and economic security and opportunity.
The signing ceremony took place during a visit by the World Bank Mashreq Director, Ferid Belhaj, to KRG, for meetings with Government officials, including the Prime Minister, and other Government counterparts to further strengthen cooperation between the two partners.
KRG Minister of Planning Ali Sindi signed the agreement with Behlaj, culminating a solid partnership that has been deepening over the past few years under a comprehensive technical cooperation program that aims to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity for the region’s population.
“The technical cooperation program comes at a particularly critical time for KRG and in Iraq in general,” said Sindi, praising the existing cooperation with the Bank.
The four agreements will address social protection, procurement, growth analysis and support for KRG’s Shura Council, an institution of experts tasked with vetting projects in the region. A study on growth potential will be conducted to analyze the drivers and sources of economic activity in the Kurdistan region. This would help inform policymakers on sustainable growth in non-oil sectors, and the prospects of employment opportunities.
The social protection program would establish a framework for policies that would bring more equity in the standards of living in KRG, thus reducing vulnerability and promoting shared prosperity. This entails identifying segments of society that are most susceptible to social and economic shocks, devising the appropriate policies that would protect people against these shocks.
The assistance on procurement will enable the KRG to modernize its public procurement system and strengthen its management and oversight, especially in terms of effective management, transparency, and accountability
The World Bank will also support the KRG Shura Council’s capacity for case management development, organizational structure and human resource administration.
“As part of these efforts, the World Bank will provide the KRG with information on good practices around the world and international standards in the selected areas”, explained Belhaj. “These activities will strengthen the resilience of the population against exogenous and indigenous shocks in these times of uncertainty.”