Zoellick says World Bank to help Moldova overcome economic crisis

08:51, August 13, 2010      

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Visiting World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick said on Thursday that the bank would identify solutions to help Moldova overcome the economic crisis as well as the latest flood damage.

Zoellick, the first World Bank president to visit Moldova since the country joined the institution in 1992, signed on Thursday with Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat the Development Policies and Economic Recovery Project and the Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Project.

The two projects, recently approved by the World Bank, amount together to 35 million U.S. dollars -- 25 million and 10 million dollars, respectively.

Zoellick said at a briefing after the signing ceremony that he knew Moldova had been hit by the global financial crisis and the latest floods that had inflicted huge damage. He noted that the Chisinau-based World Bank staff was familiarizing him with the situation in the country, in order to identify the needed assistance.

"The main goal of my visit is to discuss the government's democratic reforms, its achievements and existing challenges," added Zoellick, who ended his two-day visit on Thursday.

The two projects due to be implemented in Moldova with the World Bank's support were extremely important, the Moldovan prime minister stressed after the signing ceremony.

According to Filat, the Development Policies and Economic Recovery Project was meant to adequately distribute social assistance to less well-off people, increase spending for road infrastructure, keep small-scale social investments, and gradually streamline agricultural support toward investments in households.

"The Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Project is designed to consolidate the State Hydro Meteorological Service's capacities to forecast grave weather conditions, to elaborate climate/seasonal forecasts and to improve Moldova's capacity to face natural disasters," Filat said.

Moldova currently benefits from an international financial aid of 2.6 billion dollars for 2011-2013, after the government signed this March in Brussels an agreement with its development partners at the end of a meeting between a consultative group and a forum called Partnership for Moldova, which was co-presided by the European Commission and the World Bank. The forum was attended by 32 bilateral institutions and ten multilateral development organizations.

About 52 percent of the 2.6 billion dollars given to Moldova represents grants, and 48 percent is easy-terms loans given for a 5-10 years grace period and an interest rate of 0-1.2 percent.

The assistance is mainly provided by the European Union and its member states, the United States as well as the international financial institutions including the IMF, the World Bank, United Nations Organizations, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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