World Bank allocates $1.2 billion to Georgia

A new four-year Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Georgia covering 2014-17. Photo by WB, 09 May 2014 - 16:39, Tbilisi,Georgia

The World Bank Group is launching a new four-year Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Georgia that will see around $1.2 billion USD allocated to the country for financial support.

The aid package will help end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity in a sustainable manner.

The 2014-2017 Strategy was discussed by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors in Washington on May 8.

The World Bank Group support was geared to empower Georgia to take advantage of the opportunities available for growth, employment and inclusion.

"Located along a strategic corridor connecting Europe and Asia, Georgia has significant development potential in renewable energy, tourism, and higher value-added agricultural production,” said World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus Henry Kerali.

"The new strategy supports the Government’s program to strengthen the efficiency and sustainability of public service delivery, particularly in education, health, and other social services, in order to have a real impact on reducing poverty and advancing prosperity in Georgia,” he said.

The Strategy, which has been developed in consultation with Government officials, civil society organisations, development partners and other stakeholders, identified key areas where the World Bank Group assistance can have the biggest impact.

The proposed engagement will focus on two key areas:

1)Strengthening public service delivery to promote inclusion and equity, and

2)Enabling job creation and competitiveness to enable private sector led inclusive growth.

The financial package will comprise of sovereign loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), private sector investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and investment insurance from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will continue to prioritize investment and advisory services that contribute to increased access to finance for smaller businesses, promote a competitive business and investment climate, and support the development of agribusiness and renewable energy.

"We believe that the best way to encourage inclusive growth is through creation of jobs, which in Georgia are expected to come largely from the private sector,” said IFC Regional Manager for the South CaucasusThomas Lubeck.

"Accordingly, IFC will provide support to private sector companies where Georgia has a competitive advantage,”Lubeck said.

Since Georgia joined the World Bank in 1992, a total of 57 projects comprising of more than $1.95 billion USD of IDA credits and grants and IBRD loans have been provided to the country. The current portfolio consisted of seven active investment projects, worth a total of $600 million USD, covering one DPO and a selective investment portfolio.