WASHINGTON, March 31, 2023 – The World Bank approved today $70 million to support the Accelerating Governance Institutional Reforms for Sustainable Services (AGIR) Program in the Republic of Congo. The total amount includes a $45 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)* and a $25 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA)**.
The AGIR Program aims to increase efficiency of domestic resource mobilization and expenditure management with a particular focus on health and education sectors.
“The World Bank-financed AGIR Program will support the implementation of the Government’s public finance management reforms, particularly in improving governance and institutional capacity for better service delivery with an emphasis on improving public financial management and supporting fiscal sustainability,” says Korotoumou Ouattara, Resident Representative of the World Bank in the Republic of Congo. “It is fully consistent with the 2022-2026 National Development Plan objectives of a diversified and inclusive economic growth outlook.”
The AGIR Program will have a results-based financing allocation ($55 million) and a technical assistance allocation ($15 million). It will support results in the areas of: (i) increasing domestic resource mobilization and (ii) modernizing public financial management, including implementation of program budgeting. The second area will include the piloting of key public financial management reforms to ensure better service delivery in key sectors such as education and health. The Investment Project Financing (IPF) component will provide complementary Technical Assistance (TA) support to the Program-for-Results (PforR) focus areas.
The PforR is considered the most effective World Bank instrument to strengthen governance in the Republic of Congo. Firstly, it will focus on results which reflect genuine change for the strengthening and functioning of public financial management systems and making the relevant connections to support the service delivery outcomes. Secondly, it will support a framework for monitoring and reporting that would transform the high-level support for public financial management reforms into actionable drive and accountability.
Key results expected from the Program include (i) increasing efficiency in revenue mobilization focusing on modernizing tax and customs administrations, creating more synergies among the different administrations responsible for revenue collection, increasing the use of digital tax systems, and increasing accountability and transparency in the extractive industries to boost revenue collection, and (ii) increasing efficiency of expenditure management focusing on improving budgeting, budget allocations, public investment, budget execution, public procurement, and oversight of public resources. The second area puts a particular focus on front line service providers in health and education sectors with an emphasis on improving allocations and disbursements. Proposed interventions would result in improved expenditure efficiency, better aligned budget with performance and improved availability of operating grants to front-line service providers in health and education.
*The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is a global development cooperative owned by 189 member countries. As the largest development bank in the world, it supports the World Bank Group’s mission by providing loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services to middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries, as well as by coordinating responses to regional and global challenges. Created in 1944 to help Europe rebuild after World War II, IBRD joins with IDA, our fund for the poorest countries, to form the World Bank. They work closely with all institutions of the World Bank Group and the public and private sectors in developing countries to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity.
**The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Established in 1960, it provides grants and low to zero-interest loans 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 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. IDA resources help effect positive change in the lives of the 1.6 billion people living in the countries that are eligible for its assistance. Since its inception, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments are constantly on the rise and have averaged $21 billion over the past three years, with about 61% going to Africa.