WB Regional Director for South Caucasus to visit Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 21 / Trend I. Khalilova /

WB Regional Director for the South Caucasus Henry Kerali will pay his first visit to Azerbaijan in 2013, the WB Baku office said today. His two-day visit to the country will start from February 25.

"During the visit the regional director of the bank will exchange views with the Azerbaijani government within the cooperation programme," the WB office said.

A new two-year project plan within the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for 2011-2014 is planned to be delivered to the board of directors in March for approval. Currently, the projects to be financed by the bank in 2013-2014 are being specified with the government, but no official complaints to the WB were made.

At present the issues of drawing additional funding for modernisation of the judicial system, improvement of water and sanitation services and integrated solid waste management are being discussed.

The need for additional financial resources appeared in the last two projects due to the changed design of these projects. The funds are required for judicial system modernisation, so additional funding for the current project or a new project is being considered by the WB Baku Office.

The World Bank provided $490 million for improving the drinking water supply and sanitation services in 12 regions of Azerbaijan. It provided a total of $55 million for Azerbaijan's judicial-legal system, 33.4 million of which were allocated as additional financing in 2011.
The bank also allocated $29.5 million to the project for integrated waste management in Baku. The project will be expanded to cover the whole country.

Currently the bank is working with the Azerbaijani government in two directions, development of new projects and improving work within the existing project portfolio.

Since 1992, during the whole period of cooperation with Azerbaijan, the World Bank has financed 56 projects in various sectors of the economy for a total of $3.4 billion in loans and grants of the International Development Association (IDA), and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). During this period, the World Bank contributed to Azerbaijan grants totalling $42 million sent towards the development of projects, feasibility studies and training.

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