26 September 2014 - Last September 24, 2014, the AIM Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management, in partnership with the World Bank Group, organized a forum wherein the World Bank Group’s new Country Partnership Strategy for fiscal year 2015-2018 were presented. The forum was attended by representatives of the World Bank’s partners in government, stakeholders from the academe, private sector, development community and civil society organizations.
This forum was a venue to discuss the new Country Partnership Strategy, the World Bank Group’s business plan for the year 2015-2018 in support of the country’s development strategy. The CPS’s theme is “Making Growth Work for the Poor,” and it supports the Philippine government’s goal of inclusive growth – growth that reduces poverty and creates more and better jobs. The CPS is a joint strategy of the three members of the World Bank Group (WBG) – (1) the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD); (2) the International Finance Corporation (IFC) focused on the private sector in developing countries; and (3) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) which provides political risk insurance to private sector investors and lenders.
The World Bank Group’s Country Director, Motoo Knishi, presented the overview and goals of the Country Partnership Strategy. It has twin goals, namely: (1) to end extreme poverty, that is, reducing the percentage of people living on less USD1.25 a day to 3 percent b 2030; and (2) promote shared prosperity by focusing on increasing income growth of the bottom 40 percent of the population. In order to attain these goals, the World Bank Group will focus on five key engagement areas, which includes support for small and medium enterprises, tax reform, open government data, water management and yes, the Bangsamoro peace process.
- Transparent and accountable governance: strengthening public financial management,improving fiscal transparency and financial accountability, and supporting greater demand from citizens for government accountability.
- Empowerment of the poor and vulnerable: improving health and education outcomes, strengthening social protection and ensuring the availability of more timely and improved measurements of poverty.
- Rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth: promoting economic policy reform for inclusive growth, boosting private sector development by improving the investment climate for firms of all sizes, including greater access to finance, and increasing productivity and job creation, especially in rural areas.
- Climate change, environment, and disaster risk management: increasing physical, financial and institutional resilience to natural disaster and climate change impacts, and improving natural resource management and sustainable development.
- Peace, institution building, and social and economic opportunity: supporting social and economic development in conflict-affected regions in Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro.
For its future operation, the WBG will focus on fewer but larger projects, as well as multi-sectoral programs. The Country Partnership Strategy will receive an average of USD800 million in IBRD funding every year, and it will cover nearly all sectors - climate change, agriculture and agribusiness, urban transport, water and sanitation, public health and flood control. This is in addition to non-lending support in the form of analytical and advisory assistance.
The IFC, on the other hand, has committed USD250-USD300 million in investments in the next couple of years. AAA work in the form of technical assistance, policy advice, economic and sector work will be the centerpiece of the WBG’s program in the Philippines.
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