World Bank has new PH partnership strategy

Posted at 06/13/14 1:57 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The World Bank Group has announced a new country partnership strategy for the Philippines to focus on reducing poverty and creating more jobs.

World Bank vice president for East Asia and Pacific Axel van Trotsenburg said the strategy “offers a unique opportunity for the World Bank Group to support the government's efforts to improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable by creating more jobs and better opportunities.”

“We will leverage our public and private resources to help Filipinos build resilience to economic shocks from natural disasters and climate change and to build shared prosperity including for people in Mindanao seeking the rewards of peace,” he added.

The World Bank said the new strategy will guide its engagement in the country from 2015 to 2018 and will support government programs in these five key areas:

• Transparent and accountable governance: strengthening public financial management, improving fiscal transparency and financial accountability, and supporting greater demand from citizens for government accountability.

• Empowerment of the poor and vulnerable: improving health and education outcomes, strengthening social protection and ensuring the availability of more timely and improved measurements of poverty.

• Rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth: promoting economic policy reform for inclusive growth, boosting private sector development by improving the investment climate for firms of all sizes, including greater access to finance, and increasing productivity and job creation, especially in rural areas.

• Climate change, environment, and disaster risk management: increasing physical, financial and institutional resilience to natural disaster and climate change impacts, and improving natural resource management and sustainable development.

• Peace, institution building, and social and economic opportunity: supporting social and economic development in conflict-affected regions in Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro.

The World Bank said the indicative new financial commitment from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) may average $800 million a year, along with non-lending support in the form of analytical and advisory assistance.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has also committed $250 million to $300 million in investments in the next couple of years.

Meanwhile, Finance Sec. Cesar Purisima said the new partnership strategy of the World Bank Group is “an affirmation of its support for the country’s development objectives.”

“The strategy’s continuing focus on good governance, strengthened public finances and fiscal transparency will support the Aquino administration's efforts to continue the virtuous cycle of expanding our fiscal space for greater investments in infrastructure and social services,” he said.

The country partnership strategy is a joint strategy of the three members of the World Bank Group (WBG): IBRD, IFC, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which provides political risk insurance to private sector investors and lenders.

The new strategy benefited from consultations with various stakeholders, including civil society representatives, national and local government officials from oversight and implementing agencies, private/business sector, academia, members of the legislature and other development partners.