The World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors on 3rd April endorsed the 2018-22 Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for the Republic of Belarus, which aims to support sustainable and inclusive growth and improve living standards in the country.
“A sustained improvement in living standards in Belarus requires structural transformation, with a greater role for market forces and stronger targeted social programs,” said Alex Kremer, World Bank Country Manager for Belarus. “The World Bank Group wants ordinary Belarusians to have better lives. That means more private sector jobs, modern skills and healthcare, and infrastructure which contributes to the economy and the environment.”
The strategy is fully aligned with the Program of Activities of the Government of the Republic of Belarus 2016–20, and is based on the findings and recommendations of the 2018 World Bank Systematic Country Diagnostic for Belarus (SCD). In the next five years, the World Bank Group’s assistance to Belarus will be concentrated in three areas:
- Creating opportunities for the private sector to grow and for more efficient public investment;
- Maintaining the country’s human capital edge by improving learning environments in education and the delivery of health services;
- Improving the contribution of infrastructure to, economic growth, climate change management, and human development.
The strategy has been developed through extensive consultations with government authorities, business associations, civil society organisations, development partners, academia and beneficiaries. During the CPF consultation many people said that transparency of information, the use of impact data, and public-private dialogue could improve decision-making. Therefore, the CPF’s cross-cutting theme is promoting the greater use of data and access to information in public decision-making.
The CPF is a joint strategy of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
“Boosting private sector investments is core to IFC’s strategy in Belarus,” said Jason Pellmar, IFC Regional Manager for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. “During the course of this next strategy period, IFC will continue to support Belarus to improve its business environment, promote competition and increase private sector participation throughout the economy.”
Since the Republic of Belarus joined the World Bank in 1992, lending commitments to the country have totaled US$1.7bn. In addition, grant financing totaling US$31mn has been provided, including to programs involving civil society partners. The active investment lending portfolio financed by the World Bank in Belarus includes eight operations totaling US$789mn.