Washington, May 31, 2020- The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved on May 29, 2020 two new projects totaling $25 million in credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s arm for the poorest countries. The new financing will help Djibouti address vulnerability, foster inclusive economic growth and improve service delivery.
The first operation, the US$15 million Economic Management and Statistics Development for Policy Making project will support the Government of Djibouti fill data gaps, improve the quality and reliability of key official statistical products and processes, make data more accessible and enhance dissemination practices, and contribute to strengthen the institutional and technical capacity as well as the infrastructure of the National Institute of Statistics of Djibouti (INSD).
“High-quality data are critical to measure progress in growing the economy, reducing poverty and fostering shared prosperity”, said Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, Minister of Economy and Finance, in charge of Industry. “Djibouti took a major leap and placed itself at the forefront of the open data agenda, but more needs to be done to ensure statistical data are current and updated regularly in order to make the right decisions. Our public policies must impact the daily lives of our citizens, and therefore, must be based on reliable data. To succeed, we will make a qualitative leap by using the latest technologies, such as artificial intelligence and big data.”
Addressing data deficiencies has the potential to drive better decision making and lasting change. In Djibouti, the lack of reliable data remains a critical roadblock to the country’s understanding of poverty, welfare and economic developments. This operation will support the long-awaited Population Census, the first ever Economic Census, preparation of national accounts and a program of economic and household surveys to update statistics and produce data in a sustained manner.
“Through this project, we will gain a better understanding of the economic situation in the country and help support evidence-based planning and decision making that better meets the needs of the population, including vulnerable groups.” said Marina Wes, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.
New waves of displacement from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Yemen have further exacerbated Djibouti’s already fragile public services. Moreover, most recently, the crisis of COVID-19 and the recent locust outbreak have resulted in significant public health and economic impacts, threatening food security and livelihood opportunities.
In response, the additional financing of US$10 million approved today under the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project in the Horn of Africa will help address these vulnerabilities. The operation will improve access to social and economic services so that the country can adapt to the changing context, and create economic opportunities for both refugees and the communities hosting them. The project will also include a Contingent Emergency Response Component (CERC) to support Djibouti’s emergency preparedness and response capacity.
“The burden of displacements falls largely on host countries,” said Boubacar-Sid Barry, World Bank Resident Representative in Djibouti. “Our program will help Djibouti strengthen economic and social conditions in areas welcoming refugees and assist both refugees and host communities.”
The world Bank’s portfolio in Djibouti consists of 14 IDA-funded projects totaling US$209 million. The portfolio is focused on education, health, social safety nets, energy, rural community development, urban poverty reduction, modernization of public administration, governance and private sector development, with emphasis on women and youth.