The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved an International Development Association (IDA*) US$70 million grant to Burkina Faso aimed at promoting growth and competitiveness and reducing the vulnerabilities related to both the Malian and global financial crises. The Second Grant for Growth, Competitiveness, and Reduced Vulnerability will catalyze private sector growth and employment, strengthen resiliency, reduce vulnerability, and improve governance and public resource management in the country.
The new grant, which will support the Government’s efforts, seeks to:
* Support the growth of the private sector, which creates jobs, by helping the Government set up an input fund for the production of cotton and improved competitiveness in this sector, as well as for improved production of the other cash crops;
* Improve governance and public resource management by providing a framework for greater transparency in the mining sector;
* Strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability through improved transfers of funds to decentralized communities, increased access to microfinance by women, better monitoring of food security, and greater food distribution at reduced prices, or even at no cost, in the poor and vulnerable areas and to Malian refugees.
The World Bank notes that the cotton, grain, and mining sectors have been major drivers of the country’s economic growth over the past five years. Robust reforms during the 2000s facilitated a significant increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the mining sector. In addition, Burkina Faso was declared “EITI Compliant” on February 27, 2013 by the Oslo-based Executive Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). This means that Burkina Faso now has a process in place to ensure regular disclosure of mining revenues and that the data is available and accessible to the public to foster an understanding of the mining sector’s contribution to the country’s development.