PRESS RELEASE October 27, 2016

World Bank Marks Fifth Anniversary of the Government Debt and Risk Management Program with a Day of Celebration

WASHINGTON, October 27, 2016—The World Bank Treasury announced today that the Government Debt and Risk Management (GDRM) program, a World Bank Treasury (WB Treasury) initiative sponsored by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), has celebrated five productive years in operation providing assistance to middle-income countries (MICs) to improve macroeconomic and fiscal management by reducing vulnerability to financial and other shocks. 

The GDRM Program, which brings a tailored approach specific to each country’s priorities, provides expert advisory services to improve the quality of government debt and risk portfolio. The program is uniquely designed to support MICs from A to Z: From diagnostic work, to reform plans and implementation. Since its inception in 2011, the program has grown from serving three to 10 countries including Azerbaijan, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Peru, Serbia, South Africa, Tunisia, and Vietnam.

The GDRM Day provided a forum for the participating countries to take stock of the impact, delivery and future of the program. The seminar also allowed for round table discussions on the most demanded services: design and implementation of debt management strategies and contingent liability management.

“The GDRM program offers continued support from advice to implementation,” said Rosmarie Schlup, incoming Head of the Macroeconomic Support Division, SECO. “It is also a learning program 
which benefits from constant dialogue,” she noted, highlighting the program’s application of 
lessons learned.

As the program enters its sixth year, the WB Treasury and participating countries had the opportunity during the day-long seminar to share experiences and reflect on what worked well and what could be strengthened in the future. 

“I believe it is very important that people who are part of the GDRM team are practitioners or have been practitioners.” said Carlos Blanco, General Director of Indebtedness and Treasury, Ministry of Economy and Finance of Peru, highlighting one of the vital components of the program. 

“It is not just the expertise within the World Bank Treasury itself, but also the relationships that the [World] Bank has through member states and the debt offices around the world,” said Anthony Julies, Deputy Director-General, Asset and Liability Management, National Treasury of South Africa

Participating countries emphasized the flexibility and value of the peer-to-peer approach of the program, which in the case of Ghana, produced a South-South partnership with South Africa on managing contingent liabilities. 

“Because of the skill level of the consultants, they understood the contextual situation of Ghana,” said Samuel Arkhurst, Director of Debt Management Division, Ministry of Finance of Ghana

“With 73% of the world’s poor now living in MICs, the potential of the GDRM Program to help MICs cope with increasingly complex debt management operations and face macro-economic challenges will be critical in achieving the twin goals of lifting people out of poverty and promoting shared prosperity in the coming years,” concluded Coskun Cangoz, Manager, Government Debt and Risk Management, World Bank Treasury.


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