Washington — The World Bank has mobilized a total of US$30 million from the International Development Association (IDA)* to help re-establish an operational government payroll and related financial management systems in the Central African Republic (CAR) following a surge in violence that overwhelmed the country in March 2013.
The IDA funds (a US $23.9 million grant and US $6.1 million credit) support the Emergency Public Services Response Project and are the fourth installment of the World Bank Group's US$100 million in emergency development funds announced in January 2014 to help restore key government services for CAR's roughly 4.5 million people. As a result of the violence, the U.N. reports that currently about 2.6 million people require humanitarian assistance and 1.3 million people lack adequate food supplies.
"Today's project continues the World Bank Group's development commitment to respond to the crisis in the CAR affecting millions of people who have been displaced by last year's violence," said Gregor Binkert, World Bank Country Director for Central African Republic. "By focusing on technical assistance and payroll improvements in the Ministries of Finance and Civil Service, the funds will help restore much needed services and will benefit many people living in poverty, including children who would be able to go to school and patients who could be treated in government hospitals and clinics."
The project will directly benefit more than 20,000 civil servants whose salaries will be paid under the project. The injection of this money into CAR's stalled economy will help to boost demand, expand trade and help the economy recover, providing benefits to groups well beyond the direct recipients, including many of the poor.
A targeted technical assistance program supported by today's funds will focus on revenue collection, basic expenditure management and payroll cleanup in the country's Ministries of Finance and Civil Service. This component will help to restore core government operations, a step that is needed to prevent further deterioration of conditions in CAR and to help stem any negative implications for the Central African sub-region.
"The Emergency Public Services Response Project will lay the groundwork for future operations supporting public financial management and public administration reforms in CAR, and will start the process of boosting the country's stalled economy and creating jobs for the poor," said Ousmane Kolie , World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project.
"The technical assistance supported by today's project will help to create a better functioning Ministry of Finance, and generate an increase of revenues that would benefit the public through improved service delivery," said David Tchuinou, World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project.
* The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world's poorest countries by providing loans (called "credits") and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people's lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.