WASHINGTON, August 28, 2015 — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$45 million International Development Association (IDA)* grant to strengthen the National Statistical System in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to produce and disseminate basic economic and social statistics such as population, agriculture and poverty data. The project will produce more accurate and easily accessible data that can be used to improve development planning.
While the government has taken important steps to shore up DRC’s statistical system in the past few years, the statistical infrastructures needed for the production of reliable and accurate statistics is dramatically lacking.
“The World Bank continues to support the DRC’s efforts in the implementation of crucial reforms for a strong and sustained economic growth to improve living conditions of its populations.” said Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye, the World Bank Country Director for the Democratic Republic of Congo. “Successful implementation of this project will expand the Government statistical capacity and generate data needed to design policies critical to addressing poverty and inequality.”
Today’s financing supports the DRC-Statistics Development Project that will address immediate data needs and will build the foundations for the production of quality statistical products in DRC. The project aims to sustain the ongoing efforts to develop and disseminate key economic and social statistics country-wide in DRC with activities such as carrying out household surveys, an agricultural census and annual agricultural production survey, and steps to improve the methodology of key data sources of the National Accounts statistics.
The project will address severe staffing shortages and promote skills development and training. Today’s funds will support a new National Statistics School, a scholarship program to train men and women in the regional statistical schools, and help to develop a young professional program to rejuvenate the National Statistical System staff, conditional on the successful implementation of specific institutional reforms.
“Increasing private investment, creating jobs and achieving better outcomes in health and education in DRC all depend on how well policies are designed, monitored and updated,” said Franck M. Adoho, the World Bank Task Team Leader for the project. “Quality data are critical as they underpin transparency and a more efficient use of public resources.”
* 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.