World Bank approves new Country Partnership Strategy for Ethiopia (Sep 26, 2012)
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors yesterday (September 25th) endorsed a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Ethiopia, allowing it to build on the development progress over the last five years of the previous country strategy and provide further assistance for the creation of more growth, more jobs, better health and education and lift more people out of poverty. In line with the new Country Partnership Strategy, the Board also approved two International Development Association interest-free credits totaling US$1.15 billion to support Ethiopia’s commitment towards expanding the reach of key services across the country, and develop road networks to promote better regional trade and internal travel. US$600 million of this is development financing for the third phase of the Promoting Basic Services (PBS III) program which is co-financed by the Government of Ethiopia, and other development partners including the European Union, the UK Department for International Development, the African Development Bank, Italy, Austria and others. “PBS III will contribute to Ethiopia's rapid progress towards achieving many of the Millennium Development Goals, by providing funding for crucial staff to help to improve key services such as education, health, food production, water and sanitation, and rural roads. Promoting improved access to quality, decentralized basic services is also central to the core elements of Ethiopia’s new CPS,” said Guang Zhe Chen, the World Bank’s Country Director for Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s new Country Partnership Strategy has two main areas of focus: “Fostering competitiveness and employment” including improved delivery of infrastructure, and “Enhancing resilience and reducing vulnerabilities”, including developing a comprehensive approach to social protection and risk management. Supporting the Government’s impressive progress in expanding the road network, the Ethiopia Transport Sector Project will invest US$415 million to upgrade five main roads that will play an important role in supporting economic growth. “The size and quality of the national road network is a major barrier to more economic growth and less poverty in Ethiopia. By improving conditions and safety on these main roads, we believe this will help stimulate local development and create more jobs and opportunities”, said Chen. Another priority of the Country Partnership Strategy will be to further emphasize the development role of women by mainstreaming their close involvement in these projects.