The World Bank has announced a $57 billion financing package for sub-Saharan Africa over the next three years. In the announcement made ahead of World Bank’s chief Jim Yong Kim’s visit to Rwanda and Tanzania, the international financial institution said that the money would benefit Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, the DR Congo, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

It will be made available from from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020.

According to Dr Jim Yong, the funds will be directed towards the expansion of programmes in a number of sectors including agriculture, business climate, clean water and sanitation.

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The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will give $ 8 billion for private sector investment, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development will give $4 billion, while $45 billion will come from the International Development Association (IDA).

During the three years, the private sector investment is to prioritise infrastructure, financial markets and agribusiness. The IFC is also expected to deepen its engagement in fragile and conflict-affected states and increase climate-related investments.

To support countries’ development priorities, scaled-up investments will focus on tackling conflict, fragility and violence, building resilience to crises including forced displacement, climate change and pandemics and reducing gender inequality.

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The scaled-up IDA financing will build on a portfolio of 448 ongoing projects in Africa totalling about $50 billion. Of this, a $1.6 billion financing package is being developed to tackle the impending threat of famine in parts of sub-Saharan Africa and other regions.

“This represents an unprecedented opportunity to change the development trajectory of the countries in the region,” said Dr Jim Yong.

While much of the estimated $45 billion in IDA financing will be dedicated to country-specific programmes, significant amounts will be available through special “windows” to finance regional initiatives and transformative projects, support refugees and their host communities and help countries in the aftermath of crises, the bank said in a statement.

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Source: The east african by Philomena Matsiko