WASHINGTON, October 14, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a $US50 million IDA* credit to support Côte d’Ivoire’s long-term efforts to strengthen its government institutions, improve the business climate, and encourage private sector growth and job creation especially for cocoa, cotton and cashew nut farmers in rural communities.
“Despite recent periods of instability, Côte d’Ivoire still possesses considerable endowments of human capital, natural resources, and infrastructure,” said Madani M. Tall, World Bank Country Director for Côte d’Ivoire. “We welcome the opportunity to support the Government’s plans to implement today’s programs, which will boost household incomes and food security, and help improve livelihoods of the country’s poorest people.”
Today’s funds will support the First Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC-1), the first of a series of three policy operations designed to help Côte d’Ivoire reach its stated goal of becoming an emerging market by 2020. The PRSC series includes three overarching goals: strengthen public confidence in government by improving the transparency of budgets and accountability of public officials; build the confidence of financial investors through visible improvements in the business climate; and create economic opportunities for Ivoirians in areas of growth, particularly in the cocoa, cotton, cashew nuts and rice industries.
“The PRSC series supports a balanced reform program designed to uplift Cote d’Ivoire’s economy and improve overall governance for its institutions,” said the Marcelo Giugale, World Bank’s Director of Economic Policy and Poverty Reduction Programs for Africa. “Improving the performance and productivity of Cote d’Ivoire’s government, business and agricultural sectors are vital for broad-based growth, more jobs, investment, and substantially less poverty.”
The PRSC will support the Government’s implementation of a number of policy actions already adopted, including the new Anti-Corruption law; new standard bidding documents (Dossiers d’Appels d’Offres Types) to help local governments improve their budget and procurement management; and the new Commercial Court (Tribunal du Commerce) to address trade disputes. The funds also will support reforms to ensure that poor households are targeted to receive energy subsidies.
“The new framework for the agricultural sectors should have a direct positive impact on the household incomes of many poor farmers, especially cocoa farmers who account for about 28 percent of poor Ivoirians,” said Volker Treichel, World Bank Task Team Leader for the project. “I look forward to supporting the Government as it implements this important policy program.”
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing zero-interest financing and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 1.8 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Between 2003 and 2013, IDA provided $256 billion in financing for 3,787 projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, benefiting on average, 36 African countries a year.
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