Country Manager: WB intends to accelerate implementation of projects in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 30 / Trend N.Ismayilova /

The new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) with Azerbaijan, which provides the framework guiding the World Bank (WB) Group's assistance to Azerbaijan for 2011-2014, aims to develop the country's non-oil sector, WB Baku Office Head Joseph Owen said on Tuesday.

"We intend to focus future activities on those sectors of the economy, which achieved success in project implementation," Owen said.

Currently, he said, there are projects worth 1.8 billion, which still need implementation. These are the projects in areas such as water purification and reconstruction of railways and highways.

"The WB will make great efforts to accelerate the implementation of these projects to achieve faster results," Owen said.

For the full Strategy period of four years the Government has requested a total investment of about $ 1 billion. In the first two years, lending is anticipated to be around $ 380 million. With Azerbaijan's per capita income of $ 4,820 (Atlas method, 2009), which is now placing the country in the group of the middle income countries, 2011 will be the last year when the country will receive concessional financing from the World Bank.  International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group's private sector lending arm, will increase its investment program to about $ 200 million during this period

Since joining the IBRD in 1992 and IDA in 1995, the World Bank commitments to Azerbaijan total approximately $3 billion in 43 projects. Commitments from the IFC, since Azerbaijan joined in 1995, amount to almost $ 350 million in 45 projects.

The Bank currently finances 20 projects worth about $2 billion. They cover the area of transport, water and sanitation sector, agriculture, irrigation, health and education.

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