OREANDA-NEWS. December 09, 2013. The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) serving as the Trustee for the Anti-Crisis Fund of the Eurasian Economic Community (ACF)  and the World Bank signed a cooperation agreement to support the preparation and implementation of the Irrigation Modernization and Institutional Capacity Building Project in Armenia for the amount of USD40 million to be provided by the ACF.

The agreement was signed by Laura Tuck, Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Vice-President of the World Bank, and Igor Finogenov, Chairman of the EDB Board.  

Pursuant to the agreement, the EDB has committed to apply the operational policies of the World Bank in the preparation and implementation of the project. These policies include environmental and social safeguards, and procurement and financial management guidelines for WB-financed projects.  

In addition, the agreement stipulates that WB experts will monitor compliance with the above WB provisions and guidelines in the course of the project implementation.

The agreement also outlines in detail the possibilities for the EDB to tap into the ECA Capacity Development Trust Fund approved in April 2013. The Trust Fund is administered by the World Bank and was established by the Government of the Russian Federation to support preparation of projects in low-income and lower-middle income countries in the Europe and Central Asia region. One of these projects is the Irrigation Modernization and Institutional Capacity Building Project in Armenia, which has received a grant in the amount of USD 495,000. This is the first ACF-supported project to be prepared with a grant from the above mentioned Trust Fund.  

The agreement was triggered by the desire of the World Bank and the EDB to further support the introduction of state-of-the-art standards and the effective implementation of Armenias long-term national strategy for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the countrys irrigation and drainage systems. Initial projects under the national program implemented with WB financial support have yielded good outcomes and have been highly praised by the countrys leadership. The new ACF project is a part of Stage Three of the program and essentially enables the continuation and expansion of the program.

"The partnership between the World Bank and the EDB aims to bring knowledge and financing to support the adaptation of international best practices to the needs of countries in the Eurasia region,"  said Laura Tuck, ECA Vice-President of the World Bank.

Both partners the World Bank and the Eurasian Development Bank have much potential to contribute to this objective, said Igor Finogenov, Chairman of the EDB Board. We expect that the cooperation will help to use resources intended for the support of economic development and modernization of countries-members of the two institutions more effectively.