WASHINGTON, June 30: The World Bank on Wednesday pledged to boost available funding for COVID-19 vaccine purchases and deployment to $20 billion from a previous target of $12 billion, citing a sharp increase in overall financing demand from developing countries.

KATHMANDU, June 19: The World Bank (WB) has provided Nepal with 982 units of 10-liter oxygen concentrators to fight against the COVID-19.

KATHMANDU, June 17: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a $150 million (equivalent to Rs 17.55 billion) development policy credit to support Nepal’s resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, protect the most vulnerable, and support sustainable growth.

KATHMANDU, June 12: The World Bank (WB) on Friday approved US $ 60 million to improve the quality of Nepal’s higher education, scale up online learning, and expand access to academic institutions for underprivileged and vulnerable students.

KATHMANDU, June 9: The World Bank (WB) has pointed out that the slow process of vaccination has hit the economic recovery of countries like Nepal that are being hit hard by the second wave of COVID-19.

KATHMANDU, June 5: The government is looking forward to receiving loans worth Rs 5.84 billion (US $ 50 million) from the World Bank (WB) to improve the country’s health sector.

KATHMANDU, April 11: The World Bank (WB) has projected that Nepal’s public borrowing will reach around half of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the next fiscal year.

KATHMANDU, March 1: The World Bank (WB) is providing a fast-track assistance of Rs 2.92 billion (US $ 25 million) to Nepal to purchase coronavirus vaccine and to carry out related works.

MYANMAR, Feb 26: Myanmar police launched a crackdown overnight in a Yangon district after breaking up a protest to oppose a military appointed local official, as the World Bank halted payments to projects in the country that were made after the Feb. 1 coup.

KATHMANDU, Feb 26: Nepal achieved fair progress in the enforcement of laws and regulations related to women empowerment in the last year, reports the Word Bank (WB).

KATHMANDU, Jan 6: The World Bank (WB) has projected that Nepal’s economy will grow by a meager 0.6 percent in the current fiscal year.

UNITED STATES, Oct 14: The World Bank has approved $12 billion in financing to help developing countries buy and distribute coronavirus vaccines, tests, and treatments, aiming to support the vaccination of up to 1 billion people.

KATHMANDU, Sept 17: The COVID-19 pandemic threatens hard-won gains in health and education over the past decade, especially in the poorest countries, a new World Bank Group analysis has found.

KATHMANDU, Sept 5: The government has signed a financing agreement with the World Bank today for an additional grant of US$10.85 million to the School Sector Development Program (SSDP) to maintain access to basic education and continued learning for children amid the COVID-19 crisis.

In an email interview with Republica, Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, explains the framework along with other issues like the World Bank’s support to Nepal and how the government should manage its resources during this crisis:

KATHMANDU, July 20: The government with the support of the World Bank launched a project titled ‘Youth Employment Transformation Initiative’ on Monday. The US $120 million project will be implemented over the next four years with a focus on improving employment services and labor market outcomes, especially for youth.

KATHMANDU, June 24: Government of Nepal and the World Bank Board signed a Development Policy Credit of 100 million US dollars today to improve the financial viability and governance of the energy sector and recover from the Covid-19 crisis. The agreement was signed by Finance Secretary, Sishir Kumar Dhungana and World Bank Country Manager for Nepal, Faris Hadad-Zervos.

KATHMANDU, May 20: Minister for Energy, Water Resources and irrigation Barshaman Pun has requested the World Bank to make an investment in the Upper Arun Hydroelectric Project.

KATHMANDU, May 18: Three United Nations agencies and the World Bank have issued new guidelines on the safe reopening of schools amidst the ongoing closure that has affected nearly 1.3 billion students worldwide.

KATHMANDU, April 12: Nepal's economic growth is expected to fall to a range between 1.5 and 2.8 percent in the Fiscal Year 2020 reflecting lower remittances, trade and tourism, and broader disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the World Bank said on Sunday.

NAIROBI, April 9: The rapidly-spreading coronavirus outbreak is expected to push sub-Saharan Africa into recession in 2020 for the first time in 25 years, the World Bank said in a new forecast on Thursday.

KATHMANDU, April 8: The World Bank has approved a fast-track US$ 29 million COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project to help Nepal prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen its public health preparedness. According to World Bank officials, the agreement was signed today by the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank.

KATHMANDU, Dec 15: A rising trend in non-performing loans (NPLs) of commercial banks point to some emerging vulnerabilities in the banking sector, concludes a recent report of the World Bank.

WB projects economy to grow at 6.4%

December 13, 2019 10:35 am

KATHMANDU, Dec 13: Nepal’s economy is expected to grow by 6.4% in the current fiscal year – FY2019/20, according to the World Bank’s latest projection.

KATHMANDU, Nov 28: The government is borrowing Rs 13.73 billion, or US$ 120 million, from the World Bank to finance its employment program.

State of local governance

November 18, 2019 09:06 am

Last month, some of us met visiting executive directors of the World Bank in Kathmandu. The fact that nine of 25 EDs came to Nepal demonstrated a level of curiosity the bank has about Nepal now. Nepal also seems to be increasing its engagement with the bank by entering into new loan agreements and starting new projects. Given the prevalence of both cost and time overrun in most of the projects in Nepal, one of the topics of discussion was “science of delivery”—how to improve the delivery of projects in Nepal.

KATHMANDU, Nov 8: After decade-long preparations, Nepal is set to sign a deal next month with World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) unlocking potentials to attract up to US$ 45 million until 2025. The Emissions Reduction Payment Agreement (ERPA) will help the government, communities, and stakeholders to reduce deforestation and forest degradation.

Nepal’s ranking in World Bank’s Doing Business (DB) improved from last year’s 110th to 94th, mainly due to the improved scores in getting credit, trading across borders, and dealing with construction permit sub indicators. This news brought much needed joy to the finance ministry beset with the increasing criticism of how it has hitherto handled economy. The finance minister was said to be “giddy”, according to an expatriate living in Kathmandu who met him after the ranking came out, and a news conference was organized in the ministry the next day. The ranking, which had remained more or less constant for more than 10 years (see the graph), suddenly seemed to be moving in the right direction. The ministry officials rightly promised to create a momentum and improve the ranking in the years to come.

KATHMANDU, Nov 2: A delegation of nine executive directors out of a total of 25 along with two alternative executive directors of the World Bank Group Executive Directors (EDs) visited Nepal from October 29 to November 1.

KATHMANDU, Oct 25: Nepal has moved up 16 places in the World Bank’s Doing Business index for 2020 and ranked 94th among 190 economies in the world.

KATHMANDU, Oct 17: Billions of rupees have been spent in the last six decades in the name of the poor and various training. However, nearly one-fifth of Nepal’s population lives below the poverty line (those earning less than $1.90 per day, as per the World Bank).

KATHMANDU, Oct 14: The World Bank has projected the growth of Nepal’s gross domestic product (GDP) to average at 6.5% over the current fiscal year – FY2019/20 and the next fiscal year – FY2020/21.

KATHMANDU, Sept 17: A recent World Bank report recommended that the government further consolidate the banking sector and lower the number of commercial banks in the country to less than 15.

KATHMANDU, Sept 15: A recent report of the World Bank has recommended the government to further consolidate the banking sector to enable it to finance large-scale infrastructure projects in Nepal.

KATHMANDU, Sept 13: The government and the World Bank have jointly carried out a portfolio review of 24 World Bank-financed projects.

KATHMANDU, Sept 13: It is an opportune time to put in place mechanisms to mobilize private sector solutions for infrastructure development in Nepal, a new World Bank assessment has concluded.

BRUSSELS, July 3:  European Union governments picked Bulgaria’s Kristalina Georgieva as the bloc’s candidate to lead the International Monetary Fund after more than 12 hours of talks on Friday that highlighted the EU’s internal divisions.

BEIJING, July 23: The Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has dropped plans to finance a new capital for the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, after the World Bank pulled its support on Friday.

KATHMANDU, July 12: The World Bank has renewed support to the Government of Nepal under the Second Programmatic Fiscal and Public Financial Management Development Policy Credit Project. Issuing a press statement, the bank said that the support is to strengthen the country’s efforts towards fiscal federalism and improving public financial management.

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KATHMANDU, June 7: Minister for Water Supply Bina Magar has asserted that the government was committed to providing basic drinking water facility to as many as 92 per cent of the total population by the end of next fiscal year 2019/20.

KATHMANDU, June 7: Nepal has the potential to double its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in the long run if it achieves the benchmarks of complete education and full health, the latest report of the World Bank states.

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KATHMANDU, June 6: The World Bank has assumed 7.1 per cent as Nepal’s economic growth rate for the current fiscal year 2076/77.

KATHMANDU, May 23: The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Monday registered a case filed by Axiata UK and Ncell against the government of Nepal over capital gains tax levied by the tax authorities in Nepal, according to the ICSID website. The entity is part of the World Bank Group.

World Bank must change course

April 15, 2019 01:05 am

BRUSSELS – Critics have called new World Bank president David Malpass an arsonist in charge of a fire department, because of past comments he made on Bank salaries and loans to China. But it’s far more important to focus on improving progress toward the World Bank’s core mission of ending extreme poverty.

JOHANNESBURG, April 11: The World Bank estimates the direct economic losses from Cyclone Idai in Mozambique to range from $656 million-$773 million (590.26 million pounds), covering damage to buildings, infrastructure and agriculture, a note sent out via the United Nations said on Thursday.

KATHMANDU, April 9: The World Bank has pointed out five major risks to the economic outlook of Nepal including reform implementation constraints and vulnerability to natural disasters.

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KATHMANDU, April 6:  David R. Malpass has been picked as the new president of the World Bank Group for a five-year term beginning on Tuesday, the World Bank Group said.