World Bank approves $30 million loan for SILD project in Armenia

16.03.2015 17:11
World Bank approves $30 million loan for SILD project in Armenia

YEREVAN, March 16. /ARKA/. The WB Board of Executive Directors a $30 million loan for Social Investment and Local Development (SILD) project in Armenia, WB Country manager for Armenia Laura Bailey told reporters on Monday.

The US$30 million will be provided as an IBRD flexible loan with variable spread with a 14.5-year grace period and repayment of 25 years. The loan rate will depend on LIBOR to be approved on the document approval date, she said.

She said the World Bank continues supporting Armenia’s government to improve the quality of and access to infrastructures and to open jobs.

Initially it was planned to cover 30 communities, but in reality more beneficiaries will be involved due to implementation of inter-community projects, she said. The program envisages opening of 250 permanent and about 1,500 temporary jobs.

The WB representative also said the project uses innovative approaches and will support the communities that plan to cooperate on more global infrastructure development projects.

SILD will provide support also in transforming the Armenian Social Investment Fund into a fund for territorial development to focus on more global projects and reduce territorial imbalances in the country, Bailey said. The new fund will be able to attract funds not only from the WB, but also from its partners, such as USAID, EU, Swiss assistance fund and other international institutions, she said.

Bailey said the new approaches will help achieve more dynamic development in communities, which, in turn, will have a synergistic effect on economic performance.

According to Bailey, such a fund is extremely important for a small country like Armenia with diverse challenges in various parts to help use different strategic approaches and find solutions.

Local populations throughout Armenia will benefit from renovated and rehabilitated social infrastructure such as schools, kindergartens, health and social service facilities, community centers, water supply, waste management, as well as economic infrastructures.

The Armenian Social Investment Fund was established in 1996, and implemented projects worth a total of $115.2 million since then. Of it, about $83 million was provided by the WB. About 900 micro projects were implemented in some 120 Armenian communities, covering half of the country’s population. Eighty percent of these funds were spent on improvements in most vulnerable communities.

Since joining the World Bank in 1992 and IDA in 1993, the total IDA and IBRD commitments to Armenia amount to about US$2.1 million. –0--

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