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20 Years of World Bank in Kyrgyzstan

Tuesday 18 September 2012

BISHKEK (World Bank press service) – The World Bank today marks the 20th anniversary of its cooperation with the Kyrgyz Republic, a partnership that has made an important contribution to improving lives of the Kyrgyz people.

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Last February, Alex Kremer freaked out during a meeting chaired by the Vice-prime-minister Djoomart Otorbaev at the House of the Government in Bishkek. A video coverage of the meeting made by local journalists shows Alex Kremer suddenly rise from his chair during a presentation by his colleague, head of the IMF country office in Kyrgyzstan, yelling “God! I get out of here” and walk out, slamming the door behind him, to absolute astonishment of everyone else in the room. Other participants of the meeting say he has tossed away his earphones for simultaneous translation and thrown a glass of water at the meeting chairman. He has then picked up his staff, grabbed his coat and rushed away from the room.

Since 1992, the World Bank has been a leading development partner of the Kyrgyz Republic with commitments of US $1,089 billion in the form of grants and highly concessional credits. In the difficult year of 2010, the World Bank led the Joint Economic Assessment to identify immediate emergency needs, initiated and organized the July 2010 Donors Conference, and tripled the amount of its lending in fiscal year 2010-11 in order to respond to the country’s urgent recovery needs. Since the Donor Conference the World Bank has approved $200 million in new projects, of which around $100 million in grants.

“Today the Kyrgyz people can take pride in their achievements. Poverty has fallen from about 56% in 2001 to 37% in 2011,” said Alexander Kremer, World Bank Country Manager for the Kyrgyz Republic. “But there is much work to be done, with governance and anti-corruption a top priority as the country continues its recovery from the events of 2010.”

Over the twenty years the Kyrgyz Republic-World Bank partnership has evolved with changing local and global contexts. In the 1990’s, the World Bank assisted in areas such as private enterprise support and social sectors. In 2000’s, the Bank’s program included projects aimed at improving social services and national infrastructure. The Bank’s strategy for the coming years will be to support economic and political stability by supporting the Government’s efforts to fight corruption, strengthen public finances, and improve social conditions.

The Kyrgyz Republic gets funding from the World Bank on highly concessional terms – 45% is pure grant funding, and 55% credits. The credits attract no interest and only a 0.75% service charge. Credits are repayable in 40 years, including a 10-year grace period, while grants require no repayment. The World Bank also offers free of charge analytical and advisory services from its own operating budget.

Kyrgyzstan in 2013

The World Bank predicts inflation at level of 6-8% in 2013 and GDP growth – at 8%. According Alexander Kremer, indexes of 2012 are slightly below as industries affecting economy experienced decline. “Advance in food prices is expected in Kazakhstan due to drought. Many power facilities are damaged to weather cataclysm. Besides, in mining industry, gold mining decreased at Kumtor mine. These factors will affect economy,” explained Alex Kremer. He added that industries will be able to restore during a year. “We expect that GDP growth will be more intense in 2013 than in 2012,” said Alex Kremer.

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