World Bank Grants US$25 Million for Economic Reform in Burundi

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 Credit Of US$30 Million To Support Zambia’s Malaria Booster Program

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.

World Bank Calls for New Research Partnership on “Aid Effectiveness and Trade for the LDCs”

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.”

World Bank Approves US$10 Million to Modernize Public Financial Management in Nicaragua

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.

World Bank Announces Strong Anti-Corruption Actions, with 12-year Sanction, First Cross-Debarments

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 World Bank Finances Možura Sanitary Landfill

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.

New World Bank Group MD Addresses Arab Economic Cooperation

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.

London Stock Exchange welcomes Aluminium Bahrain

– Raises $174.7 million
– Confirms London is international market of choice for Middle Eastern companies
– Exchange now home to 43 Middle Eastern companies

The London Stock Exchange today welcomed Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (“Alba”), the world’s fourth-largest producer of aluminium by capacity, to its Main Market.

The total value of the company’s Global Depositary Receipt (GDR) offering in London was US$174.7 million, and was made alongside an Ordinary Share offering on the Bahrain Stock Exchange, raising a total of approximately US$339 million. Trading in the GDRs and Ordinary Shares commenced today on the London and Bahrain Stock Exchanges, respectively, under the symbol “ALBH”.

Joint World Bank – African Development Bank Statement on the Situation in Cote d’Ivoire

The World Bank Group and the African Development Bank issued the following joint statement in response to the situation in the Cote d’Ivoire:

The African Development Bank and the World Bank, longstanding multilateral development partners of Cote d’Ivoire, view with great concern and frustration the events unfolding in Cote d’Ivoire in the aftermath of the long-awaited elections which were supposed to usher in peace, stability and a basis for improved governance and inclusive growth that reflects participation of all of Cote d’Ivoire.

Colombia/Emergency: US$150 Million from WB to Help with Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction

The World Bank (WB) today announces the immediate disbursement of US$150 million to support Colombia in the face of the humanitarian emergency the country’s worst rainy season in decades. According to official figures this emergency has already affected more than two million people.

These funds come from a contingency loan, approved on December 18th, 2008, that was intended for disaster risk financing.