WASHINGTON, June 17, 2016— Two years after being hard hit by the Ebola epidemic, the Government of Guinea is setting up a recovery strategy with the help of the donor community, including the World Bank whose Board of Directors approved on June 17 an International Development Association credit of $40 million to help communities cope with post-Ebola effects.
This is the First Macroeconomic and Fiscal Management operation to support post-Ebola recovery as well as improving public finances, mining sector transparency, and the financial health of the energy sector. This operation will support Guinea’s efforts to strengthen existing health systems and monitor food insecurity resulting from the Ebola crisis. It will help address transparency issues and remaining weaknesses in the management of public resources, including in the mining and energy sectors.
The operation will tackle critical obstacles to broad-based growth, poverty reduction and economic resilience by targeting a select set of priority reforms across several areas—Ebola recovery, public finance, mining and electricity.
“This operation is timely, after Guinea is declared Ebola free, to accelerate the country’s recovery plan. The operation is expected to have a significant effect on poverty reduction, while supporting governance in vital sector such as Mining and energy” said Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin.
Despite great success in stopping the spread of the Ebola epidemic, serious challenges remain in addressing the impact of the epidemic that affected Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since early-2014. Liberia was declared free of Ebola transmission in May, Sierra Leone in November and Guinea on December 29, 2015. The rationale for Bank involvement is strong. The operation is designed to help Guinea address the economic impact of the Ebola epidemic and to support key reforms in mining, public finance, energy, and to spread head growth. The proposed budget operation aims at supporting the post-Ebola recovery effort, which is expected to put the economy back on track towards sustained growth and poverty reduction.
“The poor, who were disproportionately the victims of Ebola, will be amongst the main beneficiaries during the post-Ebola recovery. The operation will focus on protecting the health of the Ebola-affected populations and supporting institutional reforms in public finance, mining, energy, and social sectors in order to catalyze economic growth in the aftermath of Ebola,” said Ali Zafar, World Bank Task Team Leader of the project.
Poverty affects about 55 percent of Guinea’s population in 2012. The micro-evidence suggest that this has gone up in the aftermath of the Ebola pandemic as employment and incomes have declined.