WASHINGTON – The World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors today endorsed a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for 2022-2026 to support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s sustained recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as reforms to support job creation and a greener, more inclusive economy. The strategic framework builds on thirty years of strong partnership between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the World Bank Group.
The volatile regional and global environment calls for reforms and institutional changes that will make Bosnia and Herzegovina’s economy more resilient to internal and external shocks. Through the new framework, the World Bank Group will support reforms in three broad areas: increased inclusive private sector employment; improved sustainable service delivery, and supporting BiH with improving its resilience to climate change. The framework includes a cross-cutting theme of gender, which is aimed at addressing structural barriers that limit economic opportunities for women and other vulnerable groups to support a stronger, more resilient recovery.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina can seize the opportunity to move to a better path of growth – one that leads to shared prosperity and eventually to a conversation with the European Union”, said Christopher Sheldon, World Bank Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. “We are committed to supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina on its continuing journey to improve its economy and raise the living standards of its people.”
The new World Bank Group Country Partnership Framework will provide analysis, advice and financing for implementation of reform programs designed to restore economic growth and job creation. Over the next five years, Bosnia and Herzegovina will have access to US$750 million of new lending from the World Bank, depending on the country’s demand and progress in reform implementation.
In addition, the. International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will aim to crowd-in private capital in key sectors by leveraging innovative advisory and investment products, as well as guarantees from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
“IFC aims to contribute to Bosnia and Herzegovina effort to transition its economy from inward-looking to outward-oriented, from public-sector led to private-sector led, and from consumption-driven to investment-driven said Ary Naïm, IFC`s Regional Manager for Central and Southeast Europe. “We will focus on initiatives that improve business competitiveness, foster increased connectivity within the region, and leverage the green transition to accelerate the post-COVID-19 recovery”.
The new Country Partnership Framework was prepared based on the analysis of BiH’s overall development challenges, as outlined in the Systematic Country Diagnostic Update, BiH’s Joint Socio-Economic Reforms Program 2019-2022, and consultations with a range of stakeholders at various levels of governments, private sector, civil society and development partners. The resulting framework reflects a consensus of stakeholders on the reform process and a shared understanding of development priorities and challenges facing the country.
The World Bank has an on-going portfolio of nine operations in BiH for a total amount of US$551.5 million; MIGA is currently supporting one project with exposure of US$123.0 million.