PRISTINA, September 27, 2017 — The World Bank’s Regional Director for Western Balkans, Ms. Linda Van Gelder, completed a two-day visit to Kosovo today, which focused on meeting with the recently-elected government of Kosovo and discussing the country’s development challenges and priorities.
During her visit, Ms. Van Gelder met with Mr. Ramush Haradinaj, Prime Minister of Kosovo, Mr. Bedri Hamza, Minister of Finance, and Mr. Valdrin Lluka, Minister of Economic Development, to establish a dialogue on World Bank assistance ahead of the World Bank Group’s Annual Meetings, to be held on October 13-15 in Washington DC.
The meetings focused on the priorities of the newly-approved Government Program, the objectives of the new World Bank Group Country Partnership Framework for 2017-2021, and the lending pipeline for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, with a particular focus on the energy sector.
“The recently approved framework of assistance for Kosovo is consistent with the new government’s program and we will continue to support Kosovo in moving toward more sustainable, export-oriented growth so its citizens are provided more opportunities for a better life,” said Ms. Linda Van Gelder, World Bank Regional Director for the Western Balkans. “The lending program will continue to be discussed and, hopefully, confirmed with the Kosovo delegation at the Annual Meetings,” added Van Gelder.
The active World Bank lending portfolio in Kosovo amounts to around $161 million across seven projects in the areas of energy, education, cadastre, agriculture, health, water, and competitiveness. Since 1999, the World Bank has provided to Kosovo and/or managed roughly $440 million through more than 30 projects. World Bank Group financing to Kosovo during the Country Partnership Framework for 2017-2021 period is estimated to range between $210 - $280 million. Kosovo is eligible for financing from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group, which provides credits on concessional terms, with very low interest charges and long repayment periods.
Ms. Van Gelder was appointed as Reginal Director for Western Balkans on July 1, 2017 and is leading the policy dialogue with the six countries in the Western Balkans in support of reform priorities and efforts toward EU accession.