The Washington-based World Bank Group this fiscal year has approved and disbursed a historic record high funding to Ethiopia, The Reporter has learnt. According to the information obtained, this fiscal year alone the WB has approved USD 1.6 billion and disbursed some 1.3 billion for eight projects in the country.
The World Bank published statements on its website saying it had extended loans to more than 150 projects in Ethiopia centered on infrastructure, protection of basic services, food security and education.
As of January 2014, the portfolio has 25 active projects with a net commitment value of more than USD 6 billion. According to the bank's recent history, it was during the 2008 financial crisis that USD 900 million was committed to Ethiopia. The size of the commitment grew steady except in 2011 when the bank limited the amount to USD 640 million. But one reason for the diminishing size of the commitment was that 2011 was the high time when the Ethiopian government made itself busy in preparing the ambitious five-year term Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP).
Since then the bank has extended sizable loans and grants to the country. This year witnessed many document signings of the commitments and disbursements. Guang Z. Chen, country director of the bank for Ethiopia, frequented the offices of Sufian Ahmed, minister of the Finance and Economic Development, located off King George VI Street, to ink agreements.