WASHINGTON, March 30, 2017 – The World Bank Group today approved additional financing of $15 million from the International Development Association (IDA). “This financing will help support the Government’s efforts to implement pro-poor growth policies and develop the infrastructure needed to narrow the digital divide in the country and to diversify the economy through ICT,” said Djibrilla Issa, World Bank Country Manager for the Republic of Congo.
$10 million of this amount is being provided to the Lisungi safety nets system project. “This additional financing aims to make the safety nets system an instrument for investing in the poor and vulnerable household to help improve their living standards, by reducing social inequalities and intergenerational poverty, and increasing their productivity and autonomy,” said Phillippe Leite, World Bank Task Team Leader.
Implementation of the Lisungi safety nets system project began in September 2014, with an initial financing amount of $17 million, of which $15 million was from the Government and $2 million from IDA funds. The project received additional financing in the amount of EUR 8 million from the Agence française de développement (AFD) in August 2015, with a further allocation of CFAF 83 million from UNICEF in July 2016.
The remaining sum of $5 million will serve as additional financing for the Central African Backbone (CAB) project. “This additional financing will cover the purchase of active equipment to facilitate the use of fiber optic infrastructure already in place, the creation of an incubator to house and promote the development of local information and communications technology companies, and, lastly, the establishment of a digital development fund,” said Jerome Bezzina, World Bank Task Team Leader.
The World Bank has been supporting the information and communications technology sector in the Republic of Congo since December 2011 through the Central African Backbone (CAB) project. With $15 million in IDA financing, this project aims to help increase the geographic scope and usage of regional broadband services and lower their cost.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.