Mozambique: World Bank Announces New 'Country Partnership Strategy'

Maputo — The Board of Directors of the World Bank on Tuesday approved a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Mozambique for the 2012-2016 period, which the Bank claims is "designed to promote inclusive, broadly-shared economic growth".

According to a World Bank press release, the new Strategy is backed by a funding plan amounting to 1.04 billion US dollars "with a significant grant content" from the IDA (International Development Association - the Bank's agency for developing counties, which normally provides soft loans).

The grants and loans, the release adds, "will target key, growth-inducing areas of the economy including agriculture, climate change, energy, environment, health and transport". "The Country Partnership Strategy is fully aligned with Mozambique's own development aspirations," said Planning and Development Minister Aiuba Cuereneia, cited in the release. "We are confident that the new Strategy will make a major contribution to achieving our shared goals of accelerated growth that benefits all citizens". For his part, Laurence Clarke, the World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, said "The new Strategy comes at a momentous time in the country's impressive journey of post-conflict recovery that has led to two decades of robust growth".

"By all accounts, the discovery of resources including natural gas will be a game changer for Mozambique's future", Clarke said. "Now is the time to grasp the opportunities offered by the growth momentum and resource discoveries and deploy the revenues for transformative, sustained growth that benefits all sections of Mozambican society." According to the release, the strategy "will support the development of policies, programs and projects that unleash growth and provide a road map for strategic investments for achieving maximum development impact for the next four years".

The Bank's Board also approved funding of 120 million dollars to support the Mozambican government's "Cities and Climate Change" project. This will benefit 20 municipalities in central and southern Mozambique which are prone to extreme weather events.

The Bank points out that "Mozambique ranks third among African countries most exposed to climatic risks and coastal cities are particularly vulnerable to flooding and erosion that have devastating impacts on poor people".

The project, the Bank says, "will strengthen municipal capacities for launching sustainable urban infrastructure and environmental management projects that will increase resilience to climate-related risks. New infrastructure investments under the project will finance rehabilitation of drains, conduits, embankments, levees, and surface water storage facilities that are all impacted by a changing climate".

Institutional investments, under this project, "will include improved urban environmental planning and land use management; increased own-source revenue capacity, more effective and transparent municipal financial management; and a sustainable service delivery model for operation and maintenance of urban sanitation and drainage systems".

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