New Trust Fund Boosts Resilience, Well-being in Moldova

CHISINAU, March 26, 2024-The World Bank announced today that it has established a multi-donor trust fund program aimed at supporting the Government of Moldova in investing and strengthening its institutions to become more competitive, resilient, and inclusive as the country is pursuing the EU accession.

The Moldova Growth, Resilience and Opportunities for Well-Being (M-GROW) Program Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), managed by the World Bank, will provide a coordinated financing and support mechanism to assist the Government of Moldova in mobilizing financing for transformative projects and strengthen capacity to prepare and implement them. Early priorities for M-GROW focus on support for enhanced competitiveness, energy efficiency, and strengthening the institutional and governance environment.

M-GROW's founding partners include Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom, who have together contributed the equivalent of $23.8 million. The program's partnership council includes these partners as members and is co-chaired by the Government of Moldova and the World Bank.

"The people of Moldova and the Government are deeply engaged in a transformative process aimed at paving the path for Moldova to become part of the European Union family," said Artur Mija, Secretary-General of the Government of Moldova. "We are grateful to our development partners for their longstanding and significant support toward the sustainable and resilient development of our country, particularly during these challenging times and circumstances."

M-GROW will support Moldova's development priorities set out in its World Bank Country Partnership Framework and will focus on addressing short-term shocks as well as improving prospects for long-term sustainable development.

"The uncertainty resulting from Russia's invasion of neighboring Ukraine requires development partners to increasingly work together in supporting Moldova's longer-term development goals," said Inguna Dobraja, World Bank Country Manager for Moldova. "I'm thrilled that together with our partners from the UK, Norway, and Ireland we managed to mobilize additional funds to ensure continuity in the support provided by the international community."

From 2022 through 2023, the World Bank and Moldova prepared the Moldova Emergency Response, Resilience, and Competitiveness Development Policy Operation (DPO) series, which supported government actions and reforms to increase support to refugees and households and build resilience and enhance competitiveness to reduce vulnerabilities to future shocks. Working closely with partners and the Bank, Moldova was able to access combined financing in grants and loans of more than $400 million through the series. This vital support has helped address the economic and humanitarian impacts of the spillover effects of the ongoing war in neighboring Ukraine.

What are our partners saying:

Espen Barth-Eide, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway: "The Republic of Moldova has Norway's full support in its ambitious democratic reforms and progress towards closer European cooperation - both politically and financially. The World Bank is a very important channel for Norway's support to Ukraine and Moldova. M-GROW is an important program that responds to Moldova's immediate needs and helps build long-term resilience by strengthening national institutions and enhancing service delivery to the local population and refugees. We look forward to even closer cooperation when the Norwegian Embassy Office in Chisinau is established."

Fern Horine, British Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova: "In March 2023, the UK Foreign Secretary's visit to Moldova highlighted a critical commitment to fortify Moldova's resilience against external threats such as Russian malign interference through augmented support for good governance, economic growth and prosperity, and the energy sector. Today, the UK Government reiterates this pledge with the M-GROW Programme's tailored interventions and, as one of principal donors to the World Bank's Multi-Donor Trust Fund, continues to be a key supporter of Moldovan Government and Moldovan people in achieving the ambitious goals for sustainable, green, inclusive, and resilient development."

Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland, Micheál Martin TD: "Ireland is a strong supporter of Moldova, and we are proud to be a founding member of the M-GROW programme as it provides an important opportunity to engage with our partners and continue to deliver needed support."

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