PRISHTINA, November 21, 2019 — The World Bank Group celebrated 20th anniversary of its engagement in Kosovo, which dates back to 1999, when the World Bank Group joined international efforts to support Kosovo’s reconstruction and recovery and opened a field office in the country. Kosovo became a full member of the World Bank Group with representation on its governing Board and full access to financing and services provided by the five institutions of the World Bank Group in June 2009.
The World Bank initially focused on assessing reconstruction needs and developed a recovery program that provided the basis for the mobilization of over $2 billion in donor assistance at three donor conferences co-chaired with the European Commission.
“The World Bank has been supporting economic development and improvements in people’s lives in Kosovo since immediately after the conflict and we are proud of having a country office that is 20 years old this year, mostly staffed by Kosovars,” said World Bank Director for the Western Balkans, Linda Van Gelder. “We look forward to continuing to support Kosovo’s growth and development“.
The World Bank Group’s partnership with Kosovo grew over the years, from post-conflict reconstruction with a focus on normalization of life and the economy; to a following phase with a focus on institutions building and the deepening of the fundamentals for a market economy; to today, when the World Bank is striving to strengthen the competitiveness of private sector led economy; improve the quality and efficiency of public services, in particular those aimed at building and protecting human capital; and strengthen fiscal and environmental resilience and sustainability.
Over the last twenty years, the World Bank has delivered about $500 million in investment and technical assistance projects, financed through grants and concessional lending to support Kosovo’s economy and improve the lives of people there. In addition, IFC has committed $139 million and has mobilized $319 million, to support private sector development.