The World Bank wants to stay strongly involved in the Philippines and continue focusing its programs on the twin goals of poverty reduction and shared prosperity.
Axel van Trotsenburg, the bank’s vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, did not reveal when the institutional will publish its next three-year strategy for the country, but commented it will probably come out by the end of 2013.
“Precise allocations have not been discussed, but the World Bank wants to stay strongly involved with the Philippines, and our strategy will reflect this commitment,” Van Trotsenburg said in reply to a question from Devex about the bank’s future plans for the country during a press conference in Manila.
As for Mindanao, the conflict-ridden southern region of the country which he visited as part of his visit this week to the Philippines, the official noted that it will remain high on the agenda as the government seems close to securing a peace deal with Muslim rebels after decades of conflict, underdevelopment and neglect.
“We stand ready to be supportive of the long-term development process in Mindanao, and that means also that we are willing to provide additional support,” said Van Trotsenburg.
The World Bank currently finances 22 active projects worth $2.05 billion in the Philippines, under the 2010-2013 strategy that pushes for economic growth to trickle down more effectively to the poor. This three-year strategy expires at the end of the year and should be renewed soon.
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