World Bank announces $4.7b loan, grant for Ethiopia

(EBC; November 17, 2017) - The World Bank has announced 4.7 billion dollar loan and grant to support development projects in Ethiopia over the next three years.

The announcement came on Thursday while the bank launched its five- year Country Partnership Framework for Ethiopia which, among other objectives.

"The 4.7 billion dollar will finance several projects in three year time frame. It is 50% in loan and 50% in grants but the loan is on very favorable terms - on terms that all of us would like to borrow," Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Director to Ethiopia, said.

"We just launched what we call the country partnership framework. It is a three year framework. Based on the framework, the World Bank would support Ethiopia by availing up to 4.7 billion dollar," said Dr. Abraham Tekeste, Minister Finance and Economic Cooperation of Ethiopia.

"We have jointly identified the focus areas as structural transformation of the economy, resilience and inclusiveness; and it is all about institution building," he added.

The framework is meant to increase the number of people with access to electricity to 50 percent, decrease stunting prevalence in children aged 0-23 months by 36 percent, and protect up to 14 million people from food insecurity, among others.

The bank also plans to double the area of reforested lands and the number of land use certificates, as well as reduce travel time on upgraded roads by more than half to make market centers more accessible to farmers.

Ms. Turk said the World Bank is satisfied with the country's utilization of funds released by it.

"We are satisfied with our projects in Ethiopia and we have got huge portfolio here. We have few what we call problem projects. Most our projects are implemented well in time. More importantly they deliver the results we have been expecting from them," the country director said.

"We don't want to see somebody build a road we want to see that road connecting farmers to markets and farmers getting richer," she added.

World Bank believes Ethiopia is rapidly changing; yet, its social and political institutions have not fully kept pace with the past decade of economic growth.

Reporter: Muluneh Gebre