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World Bank Loan for Armenia

The World Bank has approved a dlrs
50 million loan to Armenia to help structural reforms in
the former Soviet republic, a bank representative said
Thursday.

The loan will help create new jobs, encourage foreign
investments and reduce poverty, said Owaise Saadat, the
head of the World Bank’s mission in Yerevan.

Some dlrs 20 million of the loan will be released only
after Armenia concludes privatization of its power grid
this fall.

Saadat said the bank would provide a total of dlrs 150
million in loans to Armenia over the next three years, and
the amount could rise to dlrs 200 million if the country
succeeds in implementing planned economic reforms.

The World Bank has made dlrs 657 million available to
Armenia under various assistance programs since 1993.

Armenia, a mountainous country with scarce natural
resources, is one of the poorest among the former Soviet
republics. Its economic troubles have been aggravated by an
economic blockade by neighboring Azerbaijan and Turkey,
prompted by the conflict with Azerbaijan over the
Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.

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