World Bank Official Assures Continued Support

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–World Bank Director for Georgia and Armenia Judy O’Connor said the Bank would support the Armenian government in its crackdown on corruption–which still remains a major problem for Armenia. "There is a vast army of medium level officials with low salaries who are to be blamed for corruption," O’Connor said adding that corruption volumes will significantly reduce if–for example–the energy sector is given to private companies.

O’Connor also explained that because of various reasons–the World Bank has not yet released two loans for the improvement of road networks and reinforcing water dams and reservoirs. She added that the road loan may be soon released–as the transport and communication ministry have presented a proposal that may have an immediate impact on the implementation of this program.

During her four-day stay in Armenia–O’Connor has already had meetings with the prime minister–finance and economy minister–and the transport and communications minister. The main goal of her visit is to discuss four major issues related to reduction of poverty–structural reforms–release of the SAC-4 loan and anti-corruption strategy.

Referring to the release of SAC-4 loan–O’Connor said she believes it would give a new impetus for economic growth and creation of new jobs. She also added that people in Armenia are very poor and the poverty volume is a growing concern. This concern should be in the focus of the government’s and banks’ attention. "The World Bank’s strategic directions for Armenia are maintenance of macro-economic stability–encouragement of economic growth–as well as creation of new jobs," O’Connor said.

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