World Bank to boost Armenian reforms with new loan

The World Bank has announced that it will provide a new loan of 50 million US dollars to finance around half of Armenia’s budget deficit projected for 2019 and to support the economic reforms of the country’s government, RFE/RL’s Armenian service has reported.

The low-interest loan, which is repayable over 25 years, is part of a larger, 146 million US-dollar, foreign funding package that includes two further loans from the Asian Development Bank and Germany’s state development bank KfW, worth 45.6 and 40 million US dollars respectively.

In a statement, the World Bank praised Armenia’s government led by prime minister Nikol Pashinyan, underlining how his ambitious five-year programme “aims to improve competitiveness and spur economic growth while meeting the people’s demands for good governance, greater transparency, accountability and effective public services.”

“This particular [lending] operation rewards the good governance that has been achieved so far, which is very tangible in a number of areas,” Sylvie Bossoutrot, the head of the World Bank’s Armenian office told RFE/RL, praising the government’s anti-corruption programme, the increase in tax revenues and raising salaries for some public sector employees.

With its latest loan, the World Bank’s support for Armenia has reached 2.4 billion US dollars since 1992.