WASHINGTON, December 23, 2014—The World Bank today disbursed the full amount of the US$75 million Second Development Policy Operation (DPO) for Armenia to support a wide range of critical reforms under implementation by the Government of Armenia. The World Bank remains fully committed to helping the country as it adjusts to the volatile regional and global economic developments and builds a stronger economy that creates jobs, which is Armenia’s long-term development challenge.
“The regional dynamics that are affecting Armenia reinforce how important it is for us to support economic growth and sustainability in the medium- and long-term,” says Laura E. Bailey, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia. “At the same time, as international partners work with the national authorities in dealing with the current short-term volatility, we continue to focus on important structural changes that will allow Armenia to deal with the realities in the world economy and be more competitive, which is what needs to happen to create jobs.”
The Operation supports reform measures implemented by the Government under five main objectives.
- Strengthening the business environment through the reduction of inspections burdening businesses, implementation of the “single window approach” for customs clearance of goods, and creation of a new institutional structure for the oversight of the aviation sector to increase transparency and improve accountability.
- Improving access to credit with measures to create a modern framework for secured transactions, which will allow the use of moveable assets as collateral for better access to finance.
- Improving efficiency and transparency of the civil service with a stronger performance evaluation system and broader use of e-government systems.
- Expanding social protection by extending the coverage of the waiver of co-payments in medical institutions to the households covered by the Family Benefits Program.
- Improving fiscal space and the management of public infrastructure and environmental resources through reporting estimates of the revenue impacts of major tax expenditures, implementation of an Action Plan on Drinking Water Sector Reforms, and adoption of legislative and regulatory improvements that strengthen environmental and social (E&S) guidelines in the mining sector.
“Our commitment to the people and government of Armenia includes supporting this package of reforms, which will help the Armenian economy make the shift from an unsustainable reliance on inflows towards export-oriented growth and a higher rate of job creation,” says Ms. Bailey.
The Second DPO in the total amount of US$75 million is an IBRD flexible loan, with a variable spread and a 14.5-year grace period, and repayment of over 25 years.
Since joining the World Bank Group in 1992, the World Bank has provided a total of more than US$2 billion in IDA and IBRD commitments.