WASHINGTON, May 19, 2015 —The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved a total of US$10 million in new financing to re-establish an operational government payroll and related financial management systems damaged after years of civil war in Central African Republic (CAR).
The additional financing in the form of an International Development Association (IDA*) grant supports the Emergency Public Services Response Project, designed as a quick response in CAR’s situation of conflict and violence. The original project has achieved highly positive results, including helping more than 70 percent of teachers, health workers, and civil servants from the revenue-generating directorates who resumed work.
“CAR has stabilized somewhat since the civil war, but equilibrium remains fragile and needs to be sustained until elections happen, security improves, and recovery picks up,” said Gregor Binkert, World Bank Country Director for the Central African Republic. “During this sensitive transition, assuring the payment of salaries to public servants is critical to maintain gains in core government functions, and the delivery of education, health care and other basic services that support the country’s many poor families and contribute to peace in CAR.”
The additional financing will maintain and scale up the achievements of the original project such as improving control over the payroll process by implementing a system that integrates human resources and payroll payments. The financing will help to reduce the time elapsed between planned pay day and actual pay day, continue to support the return of teachers and health workers who have resumed work in the districts where security has improved, and remove from the payroll as many as 1,400 “ghost” civil servants who are deceased or have retired.
The project will continue to provide technical assistance and equipment for the core structures in the Ministries of Finance and Public Service, including expert services for the Directorates of Customs, Taxation, Treasury, Payroll, General Inspectorate of Finance, and the Civil Service Directorate. The new financing will complement the interventions in CAR of other development partners, particularly those of African Development Bank (AfDB), European Union (EU), French Cooperation IMF, and United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
“The original project has made great strides in upgrading controls over the government’s payroll process and supporting well-performing technical experts in core financial directorates, helping to improve the country’s economy,” said Ousmane Kolie, World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project.
“The additional funds will help speed security stabilization in CAR by contributing to a reduction in social strikes, and by ensuring the delivery of services, such as keeping children in school and providing health care, especially to the millions of poor families living in rural, crisis-affected areas,” adds David Tchuinou, World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people, the majority of whom live on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.