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Published On: Thu, Jul 10th, 2014

‘World Bank commits $15.3bn to Africa’s development in fiscal year 2014’

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World Bank logoBy Etuka Sunday

The World Bank Group said it committed a record-breaking of $15.3 billion to Sub Saharan Africa’s development in fiscal year 2014 (July 2013 to June 2014) supporting shared prosperity in the Region and focusing on increased efforts to reduce poverty. The World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region, Makhtar Diop said “Africa is making significant progress and at the World Bank we are stepping up the momentum to innovate and think big in order to help our clients achieve their development goals. “We applaud the improved policies and prudent fiscal decisions many governments have made and we will continue to provide financing through loans and grants, technical expertise and to mobilize our unique convening power to leverage the resources of other development partners,” The Bank Group continued its strong commitment to Africa delivering $10.6 billion in new lending for 160 projects this fiscal year (FY14). These commitments included a new record of $10.2 billion in zero-interest credits and grants from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries. This is the highest level of IDA delivery by any region in the World Bank’s history.

“IFC’s work in the private sector in Africa during FY14 focused on bridging the infrastructure gap, promoting a productive real sector and leading inclusive business approaches to help drive growth and job creation. IFC investments on the continent amounted to over $4.2 billion, with over $3 billion committed in IDA countries and almost $800 million in fragile and conflict-affected states. IFC spent $55 million on Advisory Services programs in the region, 96 percent of which was distributed to IDA countries. “In FY 2014, MIGA issued guarantees of $515 million in support of projects in the oil and gas, power, services, and telecommunications sectors. The Agency also teamed up with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to establish a $350-million political risk facility that will support planned investments in sustainable agribusiness in up to 13 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa. “The Bank Group worked collaboratively to tackle development challenges and focused on regional projects in sustainable energy, irrigation, water management, and food security, and also on job training programs for youth, preventing malaria and other tropical diseases, and on social protection for poor families across the region.

“In FY14, the Bank Group focused its efforts to act quickly and effectively in emergency situations across Africa. In response to the crisis in Central African Republic, the Bank delivered emergency development funds of over US$70 million to help restore key government services and to support food distribution and health services. “Major regional initiatives focused on the challenges of fragility and conflict. In November 2013, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim pledged $1.5 billion to boost economic growth and lift the people of Africa’s Sahel Region out of devastating poverty. Kim’s pledge came during an historic joint trip to the Sahel with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is blessed with large hydropower resources that can create electricity, yet only 10% of its potential has been harnessed. Boosting access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy is a primary objective of the Bank’s work in Africa. During the fiscal year (FY14) projects focused on developing hydropower potential and providing new forms of sustainable power to increase energy production and benefit millions of Africans.

 

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