World Bank Increases Lending To Armenia

The World Bank headquarters in Washington

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—The World Bank will disburse up to $100 million in additional loans to Armenia next year to finance more infrastructure upgrades and public service and tax reforms, officials said on Thursday.

Under its four-year Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) launched in 2009, the World Bank was to lend a total of over $540 million to the country. More than half of this sum has already been made available to the Armenian government.

Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan told members of his government that the bank’s governing board in Washington has decided to extend the lending program by one year, until 2013, and increase its monetary volume by $55 million.

“We are talking about the areas of drinking water, irrigation, healthcare, education, agriculture and the modernization of tax, customs and finance management,” he said.

Sargsyan ordered the heads of relevant government agencies to conclude ongoing negotiations with World Bank officials and submit detailed timetables for implementing further projects envisaged by the CPS. They must be ready for launch in July next year, he said.

According to one World Bank official, Yerevan will in fact receive roughly $100 million in extra loans by 2013. The official told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that the total amount of the bank’s existing lending package will thus reach $640 million.

The World Bank has provided almost $1.5 billion worth of mainly low-interest and long-term loans to Armenia since 1992, making it the country’s largest foreign donor. Armenia’s overall foreign debt is on course to rise to $3.8 billion by the end of this year.

Speaking at a weekly session of his cabinet, Sargsyan said the multilateral institution has decided to boost lending because of the efficiency of Armenian programs already financed by it. “The World Bank has highly evaluated their implementation,” he said.

The bank approved its most recent single credit to Yerevan, worth $39 million, last May. The money is due to be spent on the planned modernization of the Armenian electricity transmission network. The government is to spend $13 million of its own funds for that purpose.

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6 Comments

  1. Robert said:

    WHAT A JOKE!!! Armenia hasn’t EVER repaid a loan to this day, and never will!! The World Bank is nothing but a sucker to trust Armenia!

    • Elena said:

      You might be more inteligent than The World Bank so why don’t you lend money ?

  2. www.Voskanapat.info said:

    This must be a joke – hello? – bankrupt USA and bankrupt EU giving Armenia their clown paper money borrowed from China? Armenia can borrow from China on its own! In real goods and services – not the fake USAID consultant generated reports.

    A Farmers Market comes to my place of work every week and I buy fresh produce from these hard working people and I feel sorry for them because they exchange real goods (like organic great tasting tomatoes, cucumbers and apples with real worms in them!) for my fake paper money…

    The same way Armenians should feel about these “loans” – loans from whom? People who don’t know how to grow their own food or fight for their own freedom? A bunch of IMF jerk PhDs in other words.

  3. Hrant K. said:

    Robert, it is you, who’s the biggest sucker, hate mongerer and a chauvinist anti Armenian pig!

    Do you think the World Bank is made up of ignorant and turkophile idiots(or even turkish, I presume you are

    using an undercover name) like you? No need to worry, they know to who they lend, and have a pretty

    good idea about Armenia’s behaviour. Your “turkey” was the sick man of Europe for centuries, remember?

    Or it looks like you suffer from amnesia and don’t even know your own history!!! So get the f… out of this

    forum and spread your tainted ideas to your turkish “arkadashs” !!!! We don’t have enough room and the

    nerve for your total B.S. claims !!!

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