World Bank Country Strategy Being Extended

Jamaica’s World Bank Country Strategy, which focuses on strengthening the conditions that facilitate economic growth, is being extended for another two years.

Country Manager for Jamaica, Galina Sotirova, says the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors is scheduled to meet on Friday, June 23, to review and update the Strategy, which was developed in 2013/14.

This, she said, will enable the Bank to continue implementing the Strategy’s current portfolio of engagements utilising the remaining US$170 million of US$320 million in funding support.

Mrs. Satirova said this will provide additional resources that enable improved access to financing by micro, small and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs); generate youth employment and technical assistance for the agricultural and the energy sectors; and support for further strengthening of the social safety net.

She was speaking at a media briefing at the World Bank’s Jamaica office at the Courtleigh Corporate Centre in New Kingston, on June 21.

Mrs. Sotirova explained that the review will look at Jamaica’s Strategy implementation, with proposed adjustments being made where necessary.

She said the review document is expected to be prepared and submitted to the Government and other key stakeholders by early next week.

Mrs. Sotirova noted that an assessment of Jamaica’s Strategy’s implementation over the past four years shows that the Government has recorded significant gains in key areas.

Notable among these, she pointed out, are strengthening of fiscal and debt management; energy diversification; successes in early child and social protection development; and positive breakthroughs in rural economic development.

“So, what we are seeing is that Jamaica has actually had a very commendable performance and has achieved important successes in many different areas. Some of the economic indicators are already showing positive trends and are pointing in the right direction, which is something that has not been seen for many, many years,” she said.

Mrs. Sotirova noted that the assessment also shows the need for much more work to be done in public-sector transformation; improving MSMEs access to finance; and further strengthening of the economy’s and population’s resilience to disasters.

She said in light of the fact that public-sector modernisation, strengthening climate and disaster resilience, among other conditions facilitating growth, remain some of the focal points for Jamaica’s development programme, “these are the areas which we will focus on going forward.”

Article by: Douglas McIntosh
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm

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