WB to discuss level of realization of project with Azerbaijan government

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 25 / Trend , I. Khalilova /

World Bank (WB) is preparing for a more detailed discussion with the Government of Azerbaijan regarding the portfolio of projects in the country, WB Baku office head Gregory Jedrzejczak said.

"Today a significant number of projects has been approved, but the realization of there is very low - said Jedrzejczak. - There are plans to discuss this issue more seriously with the government in autumn". 

Despite that Azerbaijan has already exceeded the limit of per capita GDP for the countries receiving funding from the International Development Association, it is possible that in future fiscal year, the WB will continue providing preferential loans.

"It is too early to say, but in Azerbaijan there are spheres of economy, for the development of which the country can get preferential investment from the WB," said Jedrzejczak.

In 2008 fiscal year, the government managed to obtain from the World Bank six preferential loans for Corporate and Public Sector Accountability Project (CAPSAP), the third phase of reforms in the education system, development of water supply and sanitation, assistance to social security, social development, internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan and rural investment. $121 million was provided for their implementation.

Azerbaijan has overdrawn GDP as per capita in the sum of $1,280, which was determined by WB as main criteria while receiving privileged loans via IDA. Therefore, Azerbaijan expected to receive finance only on commercial terms. The per capita income amounted to$ 5403.9 in Azerbaijan in 2008.

According to Jedrzejczak, in general, the bank does not expect such a large number of projects in next years, like 2008, but "I hope that each year, the bank will approve three to four projects."

In 2010 fiscal year of the WB, which begins in July 2009, it is expected to approve projects in the field of road construction (Baku-Shamakhi highway), ecology (construction of a deep-water withdrawal from Hovsan sewage aeration station in the Caspian Sea), education (reform in higher education), and the project for improvement of water and sanitation system can continue with expanding the list of small towns.

As for now, WB has financed 45 projects with a total cost of $2 billion in Azerbaijan. In 2008, bank financed 13 projects $1.251 billion. The WB 2009-2010 strategy is over than $1 billion on commercial terms via the line of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

On Wednesday, the World Bank approved a new package of loans to Azerbaijan in the total amount of $183 million, of which $70 million was allocated in line with International Development Association. Of the total package, $175 million is envisaged to repair and improve Hajigabul-Bahramtepe highway and $8 million - to improve the quality of training during the implementation of investment projects in key sectors, especially in the area of infrastructure development.

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