WASHINGTON, October 23 2015 - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan of US$5 million for Seychelles to support on-going reforms to boost shared prosperity.
This operation, Sustaining Reforms for Inclusive Growth, will help improve public expenditure and public investment, boost health prevention and promotion, improve the quality of teaching in schools and colleges, and facilitate access to credit, among others. The selection of these activities was guided by policy dialogue with the government and development partners underpinned by analytical work.
“Inclusive economic growth is the basis for and boosting shared prosperity, and I am very pleased that the World Bank can support Seychelles’ efforts to achieve this goal,” said Mark Lundell, World Bank Country Director for Seychelles.” So far, Seychelles has achieved impressive results on improving the quality of public services such as education and primary health care and these gains need be sustained.”
The funds will be channeled through the Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy to improve the efficiency of public expenditure and the country’s business environment through greater access to credit and improved public investment. The pragmatic approach focuses on reforms that can be completed in the short term and can deliver immediate results, while building the foundations for broader reform over the longer term.
Seychelles, a small island-state economy with a gross national income per capita of US$13,990, graduated to high income status in 2014. Seychelles has an estimated population of 91,530, comprises 115 tropical islands spread over 45,166 hectares in the Indian Ocean. It has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of almost 1.4 million square kilometers, and tourism and fishing/fish processing are the major pillars of the economy, contributing 25 percent and 8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), respectively.
“Seychelles has had a good performance in reducing poverty. Social indicators are impressive and the country has achieved most of the Millennium Development Goals, especially for education, health, poverty eradication, and the environment,” said Rafael Muñoz Moreno, World Bank Task Team Leader of the project.
The main challenges of the country, however, relate to ensuring that the bottom 40 of the population reaps the benefits of a country with a high income status, though increased employment opportunities and improved public services.