by Arthur Yernjakyan
The World Bank Group provided $11.9 billion to Europe and Central Asia (ECA) during fiscal year 2014, aimed at reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity in the region, the WB press release says.
The source says that the Bank is supporting Armenia and Croatia in their efforts to improve the efficiency and fiscal sustainability of their safety net and pension systems. It is helping improve health care systems in Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Moldova, Romania, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It is working to strengthen social cohesion by supporting community-driven development and social accountability in the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. In Romania, it is helping governments improve economic opportunities and public services for disadvantaged communities, including the Roma and unemployed youth.
In the meantime, the Bank is supporting competitiveness and job creation in the region in many ways. It has increased access to finance for small- and medium-size enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia; helped improve skills and increase labor market flexibility in the former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia; invested in infrastructure in Azerbaijan and Ukraine; strengthened financial sector regulations, the business environment, and policies conducive to innovation in FYR Macedonia and Serbia; and offered advice on innovation, trade, and logistics systems in Poland and Turkey.