EU decided to contribute to the World Bank Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) in support of water and energy in Central Asia. The EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs met with Philippe Le Houérou, Vice President of the World Bank and signed the contribution agreement.
Furthermore, the Commissioner and the Vice President discussed other possible areas of co-operation in Central Asia including World Bank participation in the Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA). The IFCA provides financial non-refundable contributions to support Central Asia countries, such as Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, from the EIB, the EBRD and other European multilateral and national development finance institutions. The main purpose of IFCA is to promote essential investments in the sectors of energy, environment, infrastructure etc.
Commissioner Piebalgs said: "I am happy to see that the cooperation between the European Union and the World Bank in Central Asia has intensified in recent years. Today's agreement builds on our shared values and confirms our desire to make our work together even more effective. The renewed commitment to focus on sectors like water and energy is in line with our own priorities, and I hope that by working together with our partners we will be able to make more of a difference in Central Asia."
World Bank is currently focused on Kirgizstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, while the MDTF focuses on improving the overall governance and promoting long term development of a sustainable energy sector in Tajikistan. The World Bank on November released a report on Tajikistan’s Winter Energy Crisis. The conclusions showed that country’s electricity system is in a state of crisis. EU with its contribution wants to strengthen cooperation and enhance coherence between the World Bank Central Asia Energy-Water Development Program (CAEWDP) and EU initiatives on Energy and Water in Central Asia.