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Belarus promised untied World Bank loans for hitting roadmap targets


The World Bank is ready to disburse funds directly to the state budget of Belarus if certain indicators of the roadmap are reached on an annual basis, the press service of the Belarusian Economy Ministry told BelTA after the economy minister negotiated with top World Bank officials.

Belarusian Economy Minister Dmitry Krutoi met with World Bank Vice President Cyril Muller during the annual meeting of the EBRD Board of Governors in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The negotiations touched upon the continuation of the World Bank's consulting and expert assistance. The Belarusian side thanked the bank for constant support in implementing structural changes designed to ensure steady economic growth within the framework of the work on updating the roadmap on structural reforms in Belarus. Close attention was drawn to the need to step up social protection and aid to citizens in areas with a complicated social and economic situation. Unemployment benefits, retraining, employment, and private business launching were mentioned. If certain indicators of the roadmap are hit on an annual basis, the World Bank is ready to allocate untied loans directly to the state budget via the Program-for-Results (PforR) financing instrument.

Cyril Muller underlined the high level of the World Bank's work with Belarus, the country's disciplined approach to honoring its commitments, the transparent system of approval, implementation, and oversight over projects. It was noted that despite changes in the bank's management the volumes of funding Belarus gets will not be revised and that broader cooperation within the framework of the partnership program adopted in April 2018 to guide cooperation till 2022 depends only on quality and speedy preparation of new projects.

During the meeting Dmitry Krutoi sketched out the government's plans on further advancement of cooperation with international financial institutions with a view to financing priority infrastructure projects. It was noted that taking into account Belarus' need for infrastructure investments in the medium term it is becoming important to attract resources of four leading financial institutions – the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – to the tune of at least €1 billion every year.

At present Belarus' cooperation with the World Bank relies on the World Bank Group partnership strategy for the 2018-2022 period, which was passed in 2018. In the entire period of cooperation (1992-2019) the volume of investments the World Bank poured into the Belarusian economy exceeded $1.7 billion.

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