WB Official Says Donors Will Not Abandon Armenian Government

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Markarian characterized the two-day Paris meeting with World Bank (WB) representatives as positive. He said that the Armenian delegation presented an honest picture of the government’s year-long activities–as well as the programs which aim at reducing poverty in the country. The Paris meeting was regarded as successful according to WB Regional Director Juddy O’Connor. "The two-day discussions were on the highest possible level in terms of open-mindedness and honesty," said the WB official. According to O’Connor–the Armenian government’s efforts at resolving issues regarding investment in the private sector–as well as the social security–health and education sectors are obvious. She assured that the WB and other donors will assist the government in this difficult work. Senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) executive Thomas Wolf also commented on the Paris meeting–stating that the major donor organizations have supported Armenia’s economic reforms since 1996. This assistance has helped bring about stable economic growth and stability of 5% in Armenia. According to Wolf–the strategic poverty reduction program being implemented by the Armenian government will secure macro-economic stability and economic growth. The IMF official emphasized the importance of public financing measures–the reduction of unpaid wages and pensions–regulation of losses by state enterprises and the development of the banking sector. He also mentioned the struggle against corruption as a necessary tool in fighting poverty. Wolf concluded by assuring the IMF’s continued cooperation and assistance to Armenia. "The Paris meeting was important for us," said Economy and Finance Minister Vartan Khachatrian. The minister said the Armenian government’s expectations were met and that the donors highly appreciated the government’s work over the past year.

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