World Bank Approves $750 Million to Support Critical Governance Reforms, Transport Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2022 – As part of its deepened engagement in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Bank Board of Directors approved last week a $250 million development policy operation for foundational economic governance reforms and $500 million to strengthen transport and connectivity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Both projects are financed by the International Development Association (IDA)*.

“These two operations represent a strengthened engagement and dialogue between DRC and all levels of the World Bank Group. This dialogue has enabled us to redefine and take our partnership to a new level which we hope will help improve the lives of more than 90 million people,” said Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Director for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Foundational Economic Governance Reforms operation-the first IDA financed budget support operation in the DRC since 2005-will support the government’s program of reforms to address key governance challenges in public finance, market liberalization, and forestry aimed at accelerating a green, resilient and inclusive development. It will also support transparency, a prerequisite for enhanced government accountability, and the sustainable management of DRC’s vast rainforest, which is key to sustaining community livelihoods and represents a carbon sink of global importance.

After the signing of the two financing agreements today, Nicolas Kazadi, DRC Finance Minister, expressed satisfaction that the reforms undertaken by the Government of President Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo were bearing fruit: “The return of budget support after more than fifteen years is a sign of the Government’s commitment to improve governance, free the potential for economic growth in key sectors, and improve living conditions for Congolese people. It reflects the deepening of development cooperation with our technical and financial partners and should catalyze significant funding allowing the Government to address the immense development needs of DRC.”

The Transport and Connectivity Support Project is the first in a series of three projects designed to provide safe, resilient and sustainable transport and digital connectivity in and between the Kasai region and the eastern part of DRC, while also supporting strengthening of sector governance. It will support the government’s ambitious program of better integrating the country by re-establishing the East-West road transport link, modernizing key transport infrastructure, and improving digital connectivity. Specifically, it will finance the upgrading and paving of 440 kilometers of climate resilient roads in the Kasai and North Kivu provinces, while laying fiber optic infrastructure along the roads financed by the project.

The Transport and Connectivity Support Project includes measures to mitigate and address the risk of gender-based violence linked to the sudden influx of workers in construction areas. These measures include third-party monitoring, capacity building to train all project stakeholders, and partnering with civil society and other community-based entities to manage potential grievances. The project will also support climate-resilient infrastructure and strengthen forest preservation. Local communities will be supported on improved management of natural resources and the project will finance reforestation activities along road areas.

*The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing 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 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the last three years (FY19-FY21), with about 70 percent going to Africa. Learn more online: IDA.worldbank.org. #IDAworks

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