WB raises financial, technical support for poorest countries in E Asia, Pacific region

08:17, July 06, 2010      

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The World Bank group increased its support to the poorest countries in the East Asia and Pacific region in fiscal year 2010 as developing counterparts began to emerge from the effects of the global economic crisis, a press statement said on Monday.

Commitments from the International Development Association (IDA) , which provides interest-free credits and grants to the lowest- income countries, increased from 1.2 billion U.S. dollars in fiscal year 2009 to more than 1.65 billion dollars in 2010.

At the same time, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) -- which provides financing, risk management products and other financial services to middle-income countries, delivered 5.9 billion dollars of support in this fiscal year, down from 6.9 billion dollars in last fiscal year.

Together, the two institutions financed some 55 new projects in the fiscal year -- ranging from a 785-million-dollar loan to Indonesia to extend the reach of a highly successful community- empowerment program in rural areas to a 3.2 million-IDA credit to the Solomon Islands which is being used to provide employment and training opportunities, especially for urban youth.

"For many countries in the region, the crisis slowed the pace of poverty reduction and contributed to increased unemployment in some cases," said World Bank Vice President for the East Asia and Pacific Region Jim Adams.

He said that the crisis highlighted the need for countries to protect core spending, strengthen safety nets for the poor, improve service delivery and move toward a greener growth path.

Meanwhile, as the largest provider of multilateral financing for the private sector in the developing world, the World Bank Group's private sector arm -- the International Finance Corporation (IFC) -- also increased its support to help boost private sector-led recovery.

In fiscal year 2010, preliminary results are that IFC committed 1.54 billion dollars in new business in 57 projects, the second highest total reached for IFC in the East Asia and Pacific and a 40 percent increase from fiscal year 2009.

It committed a record amount, 236 million dollars, in the Pacific Islands sub-region including Papua New Guinea. Of this commitment volume, 40 percent is in IDA countries, and another 18 percent is in frontier regions of Middle Income Countries.

In fiscal year 2010, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) provided 24 million dollars in guarantees to support infrastructure investments in China.

Source: Xinhua


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