The World Bank has opened a new regional office for Central Asia in the Kazakh city of Almaty. The regional office will assist the bank with development programmes in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, according to a press release.
"The World Bank has long understood that sustainable development and poverty reduction are critical to the people of the region," Dennis de Tray, World Bank Director for Central Asia, told IRIN from Almaty. Post 11 September, the US had forged new relations with the Central Asia republics while stressing the importance of political and economic reforms in the region.
According to the press release, the new regional office which opened earlier this week will benefit from sector expertise from World Bank headquarters in Washington DC in the areas of agriculture, rural development, infrastructure and energy, human development, poverty reduction and economic management. This expertise will be combined with the country knowledge of national staff from the region to promote economic development and poverty reduction in Central Asia.
The bank's portfolio in the former Soviet Central Asian republics currently stands at US $3.4 billion. "The Bank and the international community now understand that Central Asia’s success is critical not only to its neighbours, but to the rest of the world," de Tray added. The World Bank country offices in Astana, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Ashgabat and Tashkent will now report to and be supported by the new regional office.
The World Bank helps countries to strengthen and sustain the conditions needed to attract and retain private investment. Since Kazakhstan became a member of the World Bank Group in 1992 the total amount of commitment to the former Soviet republic has reached US $1.883 billion.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions