World Bank support to Nigeria, others rises to $61 billion

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World Bank Group’s support to developing countries rose sharply to $61 billion from $52.6 billion in fiscal year 2014 as the organisation prepared for transition to a new operating model.

According to a release in the Group’s website, the Bank provided an estimated 963 loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to promote economic growth, fight poverty, and assist private enterprise in FY14 (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014).

World Bank Group financing for infrastructure, critical for job creation and future productivity, is estimated to reach nearly $24 billion in FY14, nearly 40 per cent of total Bank Group commitments.  In particular, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development(IBRD)/International Development Association (IDA) support for infrastructure grew to $19.4 billion, 47 percent of total FY14 IBRD/IDA commitments.

The World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, noted that the increase in demand for services came at a time when the bank had been undergoing the most fundamental change in a generation.

“It is a credit to Bank Group staff that they worked to meet the needs of our clients while preparing for transition to a new system that will spread our global knowledge more effectively to all 188 member countries,” he said.

Over the last fiscal year, commitments from the IBRD, which provided financing, risk management products, and other financial services to countries, reached $18.6 billion, up from $15.2 billion in FY13.

Commitments from the IDA, the World Bank’s Fund for the poorest, which provides low-interest loans and grants to 79 of the world’s poorest countries, rose to a record $22.2 billion in FY14, from $16.3 billion in the previous fiscal year. FY14 was the third year of implementation under the IDA16 Replenishment, and all remaining IDA16 resources were committed during the fiscal year.

The Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, World Bank Group, Sri MulyaniIndrawati, noted that the bank would continue to push frontier issues and expand its work in challenging environments, adding: “we pledged $1.5 billion to the hard-hit Sahel region, to boost economic growth and lift people out of devastating poverty and committed $2 billion in Myanmar to bring health care and electricity to everyone.”

Source: Nigerian Tribune

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