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PRESS RELEASE September 28, 2021

World Bank Welcomes Second Cohort of the Roma Sounding Board

BUCHAREST, September 28, 2021 – The World Bank welcomes 18 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) across Romania to form the second cohort of the Roma Sounding Board (RSB), a network of competitively selected CSOs with expertise in Roma social and economic inclusion. Tasked with a mandate valid until June 30, 2023, selected CSOs will work closely with the World Bank to strengthen the social inclusion of Roma through activities under the 2018-2023 Country Partnership Framework for Romania.

According to estimates from the Council of Europe, there are between 1,200,000 and 2,500,000 Roma in Romania. Despite Romania’s progress in reducing poverty and converging living standards with the European Union average, a large share of the country’s Roma population remains poor and excluded from full participation in social and economic life. Through the RSB, the World Bank aims to collect data on real challenges Roma face, further reflect the concerns of the Roma population in its strategic engagement in the country and, accelerate progress towards a more equal and prosperous society.

“In Romania, over 70 percent of Roma live in poverty. This is unacceptable. The Roma agenda is at the core of our efforts to reduce poverty and foster sustainable income growth for the disadvantaged population,” said Anna Akhalkatsi, World Bank Country Manager for Romania and Hungary, at the launch event. “I look forward to working with the new Roma Sounding Board to identify concrete ways in which we can advance the agenda through our policy dialogue and operational engagement in Romania.”

Established in 2017 in Romania by the World Bank, the RSB serves as an effective platform for voicing the needs and priorities of local Roma communities. Since its launch, the RSB has provided hands-on advice on the design and implementation of World Bank activities to ensure they foster social inclusion in health, education and other sectors. The CSOs selected to this new cohort ensure World Bank incorporates Roma perspectives as it seeks an inclusive recovery from COVID-19 pandemic.

The following organizations form the second cohort of the RSB:

  1. Reality check, Bucharest
  2. The Association for Roma Entrepreneurship Development Initiative, Bucharest
  3. Centre for Education and Human Rights, Bucharest
  4. ARESEL Civic Platform, Bucharest
  5. Roma Education Fund (REF), Bucharest
  6. SASTIPEN - Roma’s Center for Health Policies, Bucharest
  7. Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, Bucharest
  8. PAKIV Romania Association, Alba Iulia
  9. Civic Union of Young Roma in Romania (UCTRR), Cluj Napoca
  10. Association for Promoting Social Inclusion, Cluj Napoca
  11. Resource Center for Roma Communities , Cluj Napoca
  12. Divers Association, Targu Mures
  13. The Association for Justice and Brotherhood, Ialomita
  14. The Association for the Integration and Development of Vulnerable Groups, Galati
  15. DANROM Faurei Association, Braila
  16. Nevo Parudimos, Resita
  17. The Association for Marginalized Communes, Botosani
  18. CRIS - Center for Resources for Social Inclusion, Ploiesti

Updates on the activity of the RSB as well as on the World Bank’s work on the social inclusion agenda in Romania will be published regularly.



Ioana Irimia
Washington, DC
Amy Stilwell