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Lusa - Business News - Cabo Verde: World Bank convinced of 'additional funding' to face crises

Praia, July.4,2022(Lusa)-The World Bank's director of operations, Axel van Trotsenburg, said on Monday in Praia he was "almost certain" that Cabo Verde would have access to "additional funding" from the institution to address the crises plaguing the country.
"We are having an internal assessment process and I am almost certain that they will have access to this, it will be additional funding to what has been provided to the country," Trotsenburg said at a joint press conference in Praia with Cabo Verde's prime minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva, after a private meeting.
The head of the financial institution is in the country for a two-day visit, to meet with local authorities about cooperation relations and visit ongoing projects in the country funded by the World Bank (WB).
The institution currently has 12 projects underway in the country, in the areas of tourism, education and capacity building, transport, social inclusion, energy, digital economy, health, the business sector and access to funding for micro and small businesses, totalling US$274 million (€262 million).
In the last two years, he noted Cabo Verde had benefitted from US$190 million (€182 million) in funding, which was "much higher" than programmed.
Axel van Trotsenburg said that support for Cabo Verde was made available under the crisis response window and that the country was again requesting access to that funding mechanism.
"And that will be taken into consideration," the operations director of one of Cabo Verde's strategic development partners promised.
Cabo Verde's prime minister said the issue of additional funding for the country was discussed at the meeting with the World Bank spokesman, who said it was a "reference partner" of the country that understands the current and emergency situation.
"As well as what are the investment packages underway, we will work towards there also being responses that can meet the needs of the country," said Ulisses Correia e Silva, who stressed the role of the World Bank in the "rapid response" to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The country continues to count on the "good partnership" of the world financial institution to deal with the effects of other crises, namely the drought and the war in Ukraine, and is seeking support and mobilising financial resources from across the international community.
The director overseeing WB programmes praised the country's fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and the "impressive" vaccination rate of over 80% and assured that the bank would continue to work with Cabo Verde for a long-term agenda and a joint strategic plan.
"Cabo Verde is an integral part of our investment strategy in Africa," stressed Trotsenburg, who also praised the country in the transformation of tourism and at the digital level and called for long-term partnerships to help the public sector, but also incentives to the private sector.
As for projects in the country, he noted that the execution rate is "very high," saying that this means that the archipelago has made good use of available resources.
The spokesman also addressed the issue of the country's public debt, noting that it was "very high," at around 150% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but noted that most of it was concessional.
But he said that the most important thing was to manage public debt well and generate growth to reduce it, but also to be "extremely transparent" with citizens.
"In general, what is damaging Cabo Verde, Africa and the world have been these multiple crises," said the official, for whom the visit to Cabo Verde is a sign of "trust" and "alignment" of ideas with the government.
Axel van Trotsenburg, who has held the post since 2019, is accompanied by the local WB director, who also oversees Gambia, Mauritania and Senegal, Nathan Belete, and the Regional Director for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) for West and Central Africa, Abebe Adugna.
The archipelago has been facing a deep economic and financial crisis, stemming from the sharp drop in tourism demand - a sector that guaranteed 25% of the archipelago's GDP - since March 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On 20 June, the head of government declared a situation of social and economic emergency in the country due to the impacts of the war in Ukraine, saying this would allow the country to mobilise resources from international partners.

Agency : LUSA

Date : 2022-07-05 10:58:00


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