World Bank Approves Another Anti-Crisis Loan To Armenia


Jul y 30, 2009

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)-In a further effort to mitigate the impact of the
global recession, the World Bank allocated late Tuesday a new $30
million loan to Armenia aimed at rehabilitating some of the country’s
battered irrigation networks.

In a statement issued after a meeting in Washington of its Board of
Executive Directors, the bank said the concessional loan, repayable
in 27 years, will finance capital repairs on almost 84 kilometers
of canals in the Armavir and Aragatsotn regions. It said the project
will help bring irrigation back to about 7,300 hectares of land and
benefit around 39,000 farmers.

Armenia’s Soviet-built networks of canals are already undergoing
a large-scale reconstruction under a $168 million project financed
by the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation. A lack of irrigation
has been one of the most acute problems facing Armenian agriculture
since the break-up of the Soviet Union and the ensuing degradation
of rural infrastructure.

The World Bank statement said the loan will also result in new jobs
and thereby ease socioeconomic hardship in the unemployment-stricken
areas. "Creating jobs and boosting incomes, particularly in rural
areas where most of the poor live, is critical in the current crisis
environment," Asad Alam, the bank’s director for the South Caucasus,
was quoted as saying. "What is important about this Project is that
this is done in a way that will also help improve long-term growth
and productivity in agriculture."

The latest allocation raised to $200 million the total amount of
anti-crisis loans to Armenia approved by the World Bank this year. They
are due to be used for financing Armenia’s widening budget deficit,
supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, rebuilding rural roads
and implementing reforms of the education sector.

The World Bank pledged earlier this year to lend at least $670 million
to the country in 2009-2012. The total amount of its loans allocated
since 1992 exceeds $1.27 billion.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS