World Bank Regional Director for Western Balkans Confirms Continued Support to Kosovo for COVID-19 Response and Development Reforms
PRISTINA:Visiting Kosovo, Linda Van Gelder, World Bank Regional Director for the Western Balkans, reiterated the Bank’s support to Kosovo as it deals with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and addresses its long-term development challenges.
During her visit, Van Gelder met with Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani Sadriu, Prime Minister Albin Kurti, Minister of Finance, Labor and Transfers Hekuran Murati, and Minister of Health Arben Vitia, to discuss the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, government response measures, and the World Bank’s continued support to Kosovo for a resilient recovery and more inclusive and greener economy.
“I was pleased to discuss Kosovo’s future growth model and what it will take to achieve its development goals,” said Van Gelder. “We consider it highly important to address gaps in human capital and infrastructure, regional connectivity, environmental constraints and pollution, and we are committed to continuing to support Kosovo in these areas.”
To help Kosovo with its COVID-19 response, the World Bank swiftly mobilized fast-track emergency financing to address urgent health sector priorities and to protect the household incomes. The Bank also restructured active projects to allow channeling of additional funds in support of Small and Medium Enterprises impacted by the crisis.
The Bank is now finalizing an additional financing operation to assist with the deployment of COVID19 vaccines and is discussing the preparation of a development policy loan operation to support economic recovery.
Since 1999, the World Bank has provided or managed roughly $500 million through more than 40 operations in Kosovo, including grant-financed trust funds. The current World Bank lending portfolio in Kosovo amounts to $281.6 million across eleven projects in the areas of health, education, agriculture, energy, water, competitiveness, finance, ICT, and cadaster.