WASHINGTON, September 1, 2020 – Today, the Board of Directors of the World Bank Group discussed a new five-year country partnership framework to support the Central African Republic for fiscal 21-fiscal 25. A grant of 50 million dollars from the International Development Association (IDA) * was also approved for a development policy operation to help the government implement structural reforms aimed at strengthening social inclusion and fiscal management.
The new national partnership framework aims to strengthen stabilization, inclusion and resilience, while strengthening state legitimacy and fostering growth. Over the five-year period, the WBG will invest in human capital, connectivity, economic management and governance. Women’s empowerment and digital development will be cross-cutting priorities. In addition, the strategy foresees an exceptional recovery allocation for the Central African Republic (CAR) with an envelope of up to $ 355 million for the next three years provided that the country continues on the path of stabilization and peace.
“CAR is at a crossroads. The 18-month-old Peace Agreement has proven difficult to implement, but it still stands. As the country prepares for the presidential and local elections, it has a unique opportunity to create the conditions under which the Central African people can fully reap the dividends of peace, ”said Han Fraeters, National Director for the Central African Republic. “The WBG is committed to supporting this ongoing transition. ”
A landlocked country in the heart of the continent, the CAR ranks among the poorest and most fragile countries in the world. With a Human Capital Index (HCI) of 29, a child born in CAR today will be 29% as productive as an adult as it could be if it had a full education and full health in his early years.
Beyond a history of four decades of recurring conflict and violence, the arrival of COVID-19 could plunge 140,000 additional Central Africans into extreme poverty. The pandemic is expected to trigger a sharp economic slowdown and strain public finances – as the economy is expected to contract by 1.2% (3.1% in per capita terms) in 2020, against a GDP growth rate of 3.1% in 2019.
Guided by the roadmap defined in the country’s National Peacebuilding and Restoration Plan, the two thematic areas of support of the World Bank Group are as follows:
Building human capital and connectivity for stabilization, inclusion and resilience: this means investing in people and communities, and their access to basic services, including education, health, energy, l water and roads. It also implies direct support for the peace process through the reintegration of ex-combatants and the promotion of social cohesion in fractured communities.
Strengthen economic management and governance to strengthen the legitimacy of the State and promote growth: this means improving the management of public finances and the mobilization of national resources. It will also focus on private sector development and the business environment.
“The private sector is a fundamental partner in our collective efforts to support more inclusive economic development in the Central African Republic. IFC will complement the World Bank’s efforts in key sectors such as energy, agriculture and financial services to help unlock new investment opportunities and job creation in the country. said Aliou Maiga, IFC’s regional director in West and Central Africa. “But the country must improve the business environment and the government is committed to doing so.”
Currently, the CAR portfolio consists of 15 national projects with a total commitment of $ 563.5 million from IDA, and two regional IDA projects with a total commitment of $ 231 million. The portfolio focuses on stabilization, inclusion, statebuilding and rapid economic recovery.
- The World Bank International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and loans at low-to-zero interest rates for projects and programs that stimulate economic growth, reduce poverty and improve the lives of the poor. IDA is one of the most important sources of assistance for the 76 poorest countries in the world, including 39 in Africa. IDA resources are bringing positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged around $ 21 billion over the past three years, of which around 61 percent goes to Africa.
PRESS RELEASE N °: 2021/030 / AFR
+235 65 43 06 14