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Southeast European Times: Montenegro Receives $18m Structural Adjustment Credit from World Bank

Published date: 22.10.2004 12:53 | Author: Kliping inostranih medija

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Talks between Montenegro and the World Bank have resulted in a second Structural Adjustment Credit, worth $18m. The funds will be used to speed up reforms and development.

By Antonela Krstovic for Southeast European Times in Podgorica - 21/10/04

Earlier this month, Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister Miroslav Ivanisevic and the World Bank's country manager for Montenegro, Carolyn Jungr, signed an agreement providing for an $18m Structural Adjustment Credit (SAC). The credit is interest-free, with a maturity of 20 years and a 10-year grace period. Its main purpose is to enable the Montenegrin government to speed up reforms and overall development.
This is the second such SAC for Serbia-Montenegro and it is meant to consolidate and build on reforms supported under the first one, as well as under programmes supported by other donors. The second credit will initially be used to launch reforms in the health care sector. Over the longer term, it will cover four broad policy areas, including reforms in the financial sector, restructuring of the energy sector, pension and health sector reforms, and strengthening the transparency, accountability and effectiveness of public administration.
Together, the first and second SAC complete a three-year credit agreement between Montenegro and the World Bank, Ivanisevic said. Noting the importance of fulfilling the criteria set by the bank, he said Montenegro has so far complied with all requirements.
According to Jungr, the targeted development outcomes under the second SAC include public expenditure, financial management and procurement, improving labour markets and providing debt management and fiscal sustainability. These, she said, support the broader goals of improving public sector governance, empowerment, security and social inclusion, and achieving global partnership for development.
Ivanisevic and Jungr also discussed the forthcoming three-year credit arrangement -- ranging from $400m to as much as $550m -- for Serbia-Montenegro. Montenegro is expected to receive 10 per cent of that amount, up to $55m. The exact amount will depend on the pace of reforms that Montenegro manages to realise, Jungr said, adding that she hopes Podgorica receives a substantial credit package.
Ivanisevic expressed optimism about the amount, pledging that Montenegro would successfully complete the prerequisites. He also said a number of projects were presented during talks with Jungr, including a plan to open up Montenegro's energy market. Others pertain to education, agriculture, tourism and further structural reforms, Ivanisevic said.