11th September 2020, Skopje – ”The measures and policies undertaken to underpin sustainable and inclusive growth are crucial amid conditions when we face the most severe economic crisis ever, being caused by COVID 19. In this respect, the Four-Year Country Partnership Framework among the Republic of North Macedonia and the World Bank is extremely important”, is what Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi pointed out at the first official meeting with the World Bank Country Manager for Kosovo and for North Macedonia, Massimiliano Paolucci, which was held online. Discussions at the meeting focused on the ongoing and future projects envisaged under the Four-Year Country Partnership Framework, the projects aimed at dealing with the pandemic, as well as the actions the Government undertakes so as to deal with the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, as a whole.
Minister Besimi informed that the Ministry will submit to the Government a Draft Law on Borrowing under the Emergency COVID-19 Response Project. It is a matter of loan amounting to EUR 90 million, which will cover the health sector, as well as provide temporary social assistance support and temporary unemployment insurance support. As regards the health sector, the project is aimed at improving some of the health institutions, as well as providing laboratory equipment, being of great importance for strengthening the public health and coping with the challenges of this pandemic.
At the same time, the Law on Borrowing under the Public Sector Energy Efficiency Project, in the amount of EUR 25 million, will be adopted. Loan funds will be allocated to the municipalities and the public health institutions for investments aimed at improving the energy efficiency in the public buildings. It will be implemented through the Project Implementation Unit within the Ministry of Finance, aimed at improving the municipal services – MSIP, with World Bank support.
What was also discussed at the meeting was the Agriculture Modernization Project, amounting to EUR 50 million, EUR 46 million out of which is a loan from the World Bank, and EUR 4 million is EU grant, the implementation of which will start upon adopting the Law on Borrowing, being also under parliamentary procedure. The Project covers construction of purchasing and distribution centers, establishment of Animal by-Products safe disposal system, as well as information system for management of state-owned agricultural land. This Project has already been approved by the World Bank, the Project Implementation Unit of which is the Ministry of Agriculture.
Paolucci stressed that the World Bank will continue to support our country through investments in road and energy infrastructure, human capital development, as well as in providing better access to social services.