WB reschedules portfolio review in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb.15 / Trend N. Ismayilova /

The World Bank (WB) rescheduled reviewing the portfolio of projects implemented in Azerbaijan for the spring of 2011, the bank's Baku office said.

"Previously, a review was scheduled for late January - early February, but now it is expected that it will be implemented in March-April. Last year, when the portfolio was reviewed, a schedule of project review on each sphere was determined. And given it, now the bank is holding discussions on the implementation of new projects, it was decided to schedule the review for the spring," the bank said.

Asad Alam, WB Regional Director on South Caucasus is expected to visit Baku to review the portfolio.
Since joining the IBRD in 1992 and IDA in 1995, the World Bank has given Azerbaijan a total of approximately $3 billion for 43 projects. Commitments from the IFC, since Azerbaijan joined in 1995, amount to almost $350 million in 45 projects.

The World Bank presently finances 20 projects with commitments valued at around $2 billion covering investments in transport, water and sanitation, agriculture and irrigation and health and education.
Portfolio will be reviewed through the meetings between the heads of the projects, who will tell about their implementation and problems. Afterwards, the recommendations will be given.
Joseph Owen, the head of the WB office in Baku, said earlier that there are projects worth $1.8 billion, which still require implementation. These projects include sectors such as water purification¸ reconstruction of railways and highways.

"WB will make more efforts to accelerate the implementation of these projects to rapidly achieve the results," the manager of the bank said earlier.

The World Bank (WB) announced a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) with Azerbaijan, which provides the framework guiding the World Bank Group's assistance to Azerbaijan during 2011-2014.
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). The country is now placed in the group of middle income countries and 2011 will be the last year when the country will receive concessional financing from the World Bank.

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