WASHINGTON, January 10, 2017 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved an International Development Association (IDA) grant of $2.5 million to support the national statistical system of Comoros. Parallel funding from the Government of Comoros and its development partners, including the UNFPA, AfDB, AFD, UNICEF and GAVI is $1 million.
From 2011, the three-island state of 770,000 population started to undertake major reforms to improve the statistics system and set up an autonomous and independent National Institute of Statistics and Economic and Demographic Studies (INSEED). However, the national statistical system of Comoros is still facing many challenges in terms of data collection, processing and dissemination.
INSEED sets up the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics for 2015-19 to significantly improve the statistical system. This project will support the Strategy, and specifically the implementation, analysis and dissemination of the fourth Population and Housing Census, the implementation of the 2018-2019 Household Poverty and Living Standards Survey and will focus on building human capacity, particularly in processing National Accounts and price statistics, and upgrading the infrastructure in terms of IT equipment and software.
“Without recent and accurate data about the social, economic and demographic situation of the country, we cannot properly plan the development. Improving the national statistical system is crucial to a low-income and fragile state such as Comoros that is also facing limited resources and connection with the rest of the world. This project is thus directly aligned with the Country Partnership Strategy for 2014-2017,” said Nadia Belhaj Hassine Belghith, Task Team Leader of this project.
The current available national accounts are based on the 1968 System of National Accounts (SNA) and the consumer price index only covers the capital city of Moroni. The national accounts do not properly capture the large informal segment of the economy while GDP estimates are based on rough assumptions and extrapolations. The Consumer Price Index measures are inaccurate and the inflation rate does not reflect on-the-ground reality in the different islands. The lack of quality and timely economic data not only affects the accuracy of economic performance assessments, but also compromises policy planning. This is further hampered by the lack of updated and comparable socioeconomic, demographic and poverty statistics, which adversely affects the targeting of social programs.