The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved US$25 million for Burundi’s Fourth Economic Reform Support Grant (ERSG IV). ERSG IV is the first in a new series of operations that aim to consolidate many of the reforms that began in the last series (ERSG II and ERSG III).
ERSG IV focuses on two main areas: improving budget credibility, planning, and controls; and strengthening the business environment and performance of the traditional export crop sectors.
World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick today signed a US$30 million credit at Lusaka’s Kalingalinga Township to provide additional financing for the country’s efforts to overcome malaria. This additional credit to support the ongoing Malaria Booster Program was approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors last week, and will help to maintain and scale up the successes of the first phase of the program.
“Resources from the Malaria Booster Program have contributed to a sharp decline in annual mortality due to malaria as well as to the strengthening of Zambia’s health system,” Zoellick said.
The World Bank Group today called for a new “Aid For Trade Effectiveness Research Partnership” to address research, data, and knowledge gaps for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the post-crisis world. This partnership would build on the World Bank Group’s new Open Data, Open Knowledge, and Open Solutions initiative outlined by World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick in September.
The announcement was a key outcome of a high-level workshop in Geneva on “Aid for Trade Facilitation and the Least Developed Countries.”
The World Bank approved a US$10 million technical assistance loan today for the Nicaragua Public Financial Management Modernization Plan, to be undertaken with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the European Commission and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with the intention of improving the accountability process.
“This project will strengthen governance through the modernization and professionalization of State institutions and the promotion of citizens’ participation,” said Camille Nuamah, World Bank Resident Representative in Nicaragua.
Taking anti-corruption enforcement to a new level, the World Bank Group today announced the debarment of two companies and, separately, the first-ever World Bank cross-debarments of firms, for engaging in corrupt and fraudulent practices in development projects. The announcement comes on the eve of the International Corruption Hunters Network meeting, which takes place December 6 – 8 at the World Bank’s headquarters.
“These enforcement actions are timely, coming as they do just before our meeting next week with the International Corruption Hunters Alliance.
The Government of Montenegro and the World Bank signed today the Loan Agreement which provides €4.5 million for the design and construction of the Možura sanitary landfill and for the equipment necessary for the operation of the landfill. The Možura sanitary landfill will be designed to collect waste in the municipalities of Bar and Ulcinj/Ulqin for the next 28 years.
This loan agreement represents Additional Financing for the Montenegro Environmentally Sensitive Tourist Areas Project (MESTAP), which had been approved by the World Bank Board of Directors in September 2003 in the amount of US$7 million.
Standard Chartered Bank announced today the appointment of Ahmad M. Abu – Eideh as Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank in Jordan. Ahmad has previously been based in Dubai with another international bank. Ahmad is the first Jordanian assigned to the role of Chief Executive Officer at Standard Chartered, in Jordan.
Christos Papodopoulos, Regional Chief Executive Officer Middle East and North Africa, said “We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ahmad M. Abu – Eideh as the new Chief Executive of our business in Jordan.
Mahmoud Mohielden, Managing Director of the World Bank Group since October, visited Yemen for exploratory talks about how collaboration across the Arab world can help the agenda of this developing nation between the Red and Arabian seas.
On his appointment to the World Bank, Mohieldin was appointed among other responsibilities the institution’s leader on the Arab World Initiative, a World Bank approach to the countries of the Arab League to find opportunity and advantage in economic integration and knowledge sharing across the Arab World.
Developing countries wanting to use market instruments to scale up their mitigation efforts will soon have access to financial and technical support arising from a new global partnership launched today.
World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick announced the establishment of the Partnership for Market Readiness at an event on the sidelines of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Cancun.
Investors are optimistic about prospects for a global economic recovery led by the developing world, notes a report launched today by the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) at a Financial Times Summit in London. The report, World Investment and Political Risk, says that foreign direct investment flows (FDI) into developing countries are projected to increase by 17 percent in 2010. Investors from the extractive industries, as well as those based in developing countries, are particularly bullish in their investment intentions. This finding represents the business world’s confirmation of economists’ projections: FDI is expected to recover over the next couple of years, having declined sharply by 40 percent last year.
The London Stock Exchange’s Order book for Retail Bonds (ORB) this week welcomes a new retail bond from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The bond is the first multiplier bond to be made available on ORB and is designed to help investors benefit from rising UK inflation.
The RBS Inflation Multiplier bond, tradable in denominations of £100, has a quarterly coupon equivalent to 1.3 times the rise in the UK Retail Price Index (UK RPI). If UK inflation falls or remains flat, no coupon payment is made for that period.