World Bank issues USD 25 mln loan to Armenia''s social sector.

Washington, Jan 13 (Itar-Tass) The World Bank hasapproved a USD 25 million package designed to help Armeniaprotect the poor and support greater human capitaldevelopment, and also strengthen competitiveness and privatesector development.

The Second Development Policy Operation (DPO) forArmenia, a loan of USD 25, is the second in a series of threeoperations designed to support the Government of Armenia inmeeting its strategic objectives.

This operation supports the protection of pro-poorspending in the state budget; the targeting of social safetynet programmes; increased access to pre-school programmes inpoor communities and improved efficiency of health servicesdelivery through the introduction of performance-basedcontracting for treatment of non-communicable diseases.

To enhance Armenia''s competitiveness and raise its growthpotential, this Operation will help strengthen the competitionframework and implement a new Mining Code adhering tointernational best practice for fiscal, environmental, social,and licensing standards. It will als support key reformsaiming at improving the business climate and reforming the taxadministration.

"This Operation supports the key elements of theGovernment''s overall reform program that are essential forsustaining the economic recovery and safeguarding the poor andvulnerable," said Asad Alam, World Bank Regional Director forthe South Caucasus Countries.

"Sustained reforms in tax, customs, and economiccompetition, coupled with the introduction of a modern regimefor the mining sector that is socially and environmentallyresponsible, are needed to sustain the recovery and generatejobs," he said.

The Second DPO includes an IDA credit equivalent of USD21 million and an IBRD loan of USD 4 million. The IDA creditcarries a maturity of 20 years including a grace period of 10years and the IBRD loan has a maturity of 25 years including10-year grace period.

Since joining the World Bank in 1992 and IDA in 1993, thecommitments to Armenia total approximately 1,433 million U.S.


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