World Bank: Record Aid To Africa Hits $14.7B

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Written by Dana Sanchez

World Bank Group committed a record $14.7 billion in aid to Africa in 2012-2013, with an increasing focus on conflict-ridden areas of the Sahel and the Great Lakes regions, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

“The region has shown remarkable resilience in the face of a global recession and continues to grow strongly,” World Bank Vice President Makhtar Diop said in the report.

World Bank in May committed more than $1 billion to build and revamp hydroelectric power plants, roads, and agricultural infrastructure along the Eastern border with Uganda and Rwanda, a region racked by more than a decade of rebel fighting.

The development investment pledge is in support of the Great Lakes peace agreement signed in February to end the long-running conflict in the region.

TYhe investment pledge sent “the strong message that peace and development are inseparable and must be addressed together,” the report said.

The bank and the International Monetary Fund helped relieve Congo of $12.4 billion in debt in 2010, and the bank says its investments and policy advice have helped boost economic growth of the central African nation to a projected 8.3 percent this year.

World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corp., increased its commitment to Sub-Saharan Africa by 34 percent to a record $5.3 billion, the report said.