DUSHANBE, November 9, 2015 – The World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, Mr. Cyril Muller, concluded today his two-day visit to Tajikistan as part of his introductory trip to Central Asia. The goal of the visit was to discuss with key counterparts the World Bank’s program in the country, which focuses on reducing poverty and improving living standards of the population of Tajikistan, including through the creation of more and better jobs.
Mr. Muller met with the President of Tajikistan, Mr. Emomali Rahmon and the Government counterparts. During his meetings he encouraged senior government officials to continue structural reforms aimed at improving the lives of people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.
He also visited the Nurek Hydropower Plant, which is being supported by the World Bank through two studies on dam rehabilitation and safety. These studies are expected to help the Tajik Government develop a more comprehensive program of investment for the rehabilitation of this important electricity generating facility.
“The impact of low oil prices and recession in Russia is being felt by the citizens of Tajikistan through lower remittances, affecting disproportionately the lives of the most vulnerable,” said Mr. Cyril Muller at a press briefing following the meeting with the President of Tajikistan. “The World Bank does not expect that oil prices will rebound in the near term, nor that the external economic environment will improve. This calls for sustained structural reforms accompanied by efficient and targeted social safety nets. Through the planned investment in real estate registration and other activities aimed at strengthening the private sector, the World Bank Group will support economic growth and job creation in Tajikistan.”
At meetings with government counterparts, Mr. Cyril Muller discussed projects to be financed by the World Bank under the current Country Partnership Strategy (2015-2018), which aim to support Tajikistan in making structural changes to its economy to enable creation of much needed jobs. Furthermore, given the country’s vulnerabilities to natural disasters, the World Bank is looking into providing support to mitigate the risks of natural disasters, which affect a large number of people. Currently, the World Bank is financing 25 projects in Tajikistan, including regional projects, totaling US$383 million that aim to support economic growth through private sector development, while investing in better public services for people, such as education, health, municipal services and social protection.
Mr. Cyrill Muller came to Dushanbe from Tashkent and will travel further to Almaty, Astana and Bishkek. This is his first visit to the countries of Central Asia since becoming the World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia in July 2015.
Since 1996, the Bank has provided approximately US$1.1 billion in IDA grants, highly concessional credits and trust funds. The World Bank Group is committed to continue supporting Tajikistan as it strives to improve the lives of its people and meet the aspirations of its young and growing population.