The World Bank Group’s (WBG) Board of Executive Directors today endorsed a new five-year Country Partnership Framework for Albania for the period 2023-2027 as well as four new operations.
The strategy aims to help the country recover quickly and transform into a more robust, equitable, resilient, and greener economy, as well as healthier and more productive lives for the Albanian people. The new strategy will focus on three key challenges: more and better jobs, stronger and better use of human capital, and increased resilience to natural disasters and other shocks, all of which will be intersected by efforts to leverage digitalization and enhance inclusion.
The new Country Partnership Framework builds on the country’s achievements and is fully aligned with the strategic priorities of the Government of Albania. It has an indicative financial envelope of $900 million.
“This is a great day for our over 30-year partnership with Albania”, said Emanuel Salinas, World Bank Country Manager for Albania. “We will continue to work together for stronger institutions, improved governance and increasing human capital which are vital to tackle development challenges and promote sustainable and equitable growth.”
Albania’s ambitious development agenda requires an effective support through a One WBG Approach. Joint efforts with the International Financial Corporation (IFC) will improve business environment, develop capital markets, strengthen regulations and practices for public-private-partnerships, enhance competitiveness, and provide long-term development finance. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) will continue to support foreign investment through risk insurance products and facilitate foreign investments.
“Attracting fresh private investment will be key to Albania’s sustainable and resilient growth going forward,” said Ary Naïm, IFC Regional Manager for Central and Southeast Europe. “IFC’s investment and advisory activities will focus on improving the business infrastructure for competitiveness, raising local value addition in export-oriented sectors, and providing financing options for the country’s green transition.”
The new Country Partnership Framework was prepared based on a comprehensive analysis of the country’s development challenges, and consultations with the government, private sector, civil society, and development partners.
The recently approved four new projects total $355 million and demonstrate the WBG support for Albania to achieve greener and more resilient growth and greater inclusion. The Building Resilient Bridges Project ($100 millions) aims to rehabilitate at-risk bridges and improve their maintenance systems. The Climate Resilient and Competitive Agriculture Project ($70 millions) will focus on improving innovation in agriculture, enhancing smart irrigation, and access to local and EU markets. The Universal Access to High Standard Public Services (GovTech) Project ($65 millions) will help next generation digitalization of public services and expansion of digital skills for school children. The Development Policy Financing ($120 millions) will assist to strengthen the resilience of the economy and environmental sustainability of Albania’s growth model.
These new projects will complement the current World Bank portfolio of 5 operations in the areas of sustainable development, infrastructure, and human development.