Georgia Secured Another USD 40 Million WB Loan
22 September, 2011

World Bank allotted another USD 40 million loan to Georgia within the framework of Third Development Policy Operation to support reforms directed at sustaining economic recovery and preparing for post-crisis growth.

Georgian government and the World Bank (WB) signed the financing agreement for the USD 40 million-worth loan of Third Development Policy Operation (DPO-3) on September 15, 2011.

DPO-3 is an International Development Association (IDA) credit with a maturity of 25 years, including a 5-year grace period.

The agreement was signed by Dimitri

Gvindadze, the Minister of Finance of Georgia and Asad Alam, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus.

DPO-3 is the final in a series of three operations providing financial support for the key objectives of the government’s policy reform agenda. The DPO series, amounting to USD 175 million in total, was prepared in the aftermath of the twin crises of the August 2008 conflict and the global economic downturn.  In addition to a satisfactory macroeconomic and fiscal framework, the main policy reform areas supported include improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public finances, increasing the effectiveness of the social safety net, and enhancing external competitiveness.

DPO-2 including an IDA credit of USD 40 million and USD 10 million loan of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) was approved by the Board in July 2010.  DPO-1 for the amount of USD 85 million IDA was approved by the Board in July 2009.

“This year, we will receive the third budget support installment of the DPO series totaling USD 40 million on highly concessional IDA terms, in recognition of the significant strides made in advancing results-oriented budgeting, strengthening the social assistance programs, upgrading customs infrastructure, and further streamlining customs procedures,” Gvindadze said.

“The package of reforms backed by the DPO series has supported Georgia’s economic recovery in 2010 and 2011,”Asad Alam said. “The reforms have also helped ensure that 900 thousand people are receiving medical insurance and 440 thousand people are receiving targeted social assistance, as part of the social safety net for the poor and vulnerable.”

Substantially higher electronic tax filing (from 1% in January 2009 to more than 85% by end-2010) has helped reduce tax compliance costs for businesses, while improved risk management at customs has helped reduce the costs of customs clearance and trading across borders.  Progress has also been made in identifying and implementing select trade-related reforms for improved access of Georgian products to international markets.

Public expenditure efficiency is benefiting from enactment of a new Budget Code and steps to improve the results orientation of the budget and strengthen capital budgeting.

On the social safety net, the share of the poor and vulnerable receiving publicly subsidized health care has increased from about 20% in 2007 to more than 35% in 2010, while the share of the poorest tenth of the population receiving targeted social assistance increased from about 32 percent in 2007 to about 40 percent by 2009.

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