President Kabila, honorable ministers, please accept my gratitude for your generous hospitality in welcoming us here today. Let me say how pleased I am to be here with you and with the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as we start our unusual joint visit to the Great Lakes region.
The Secretary-General and I felt strongly about coming together to this region. We want to show as clearly as possible that the World Bank Group and the United Nations can join forces and have a transformative impact in helping the region recover from conflict and insecurity. We want to help put the Great Lakes peace agreement into action.
What happens here affects all of Africa. We have an historic opportunity to dramatically reduce extreme poverty and raise living standards for people not only in the region, but across the continent.
Today, I am happy to announce that the World Bank Group will provide more than $1 billion in additional funds to help improve the lives of people in the DRC and other countries in the Great Lakes.
This new funding will provide better health, education, nutrition, job training, and other essential services for people in this region where so many families and communities have suffered from conflict for far too long.
This funding will increase cross-border trade; boost electricity supply and agricultural production; improve roads and other transport networks; and help keep the peace and enable the Great Lakes region revitalize its regional economy. The people of this region deserve to join so many across this continent who are now benefitting from strong economic growth.
The World Bank Group will be increasing its work in countries emerging from years of conflict. We are determined to help lift fragile states out of their fragility and into prosperity.
Thank you very much.