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Ukraine : World Bank Bolsters Social Protection Reform in Ukraine with New Loan

July 4, 2014

The World Bank s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$300 million loan for the Social Safety Net Modernization Project in Ukraine to expand a targeted social safety net program that will help the most vulnerable and socially excluded people.

The new project will help improve the performance of Ukraine s social assistance and social services system for low-income families, said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine. This help for the poorest is critical, especially as Ukraine embarks on a series of essential reforms, including raising gas and heating tariffs. We don t want the increase in tariffs, for instance, to have an undue impact on the most vulnerable.

He added: We welcome the country s commitment to taking the necessary steps to reform the current social protection programs based on the needs of the poorest. Ukraine can harvest the benefits of these much-needed measures only if the Government moves decisively to implement its ambitious reform agenda.

This new investment will help to expand a cash-transfer program, or the Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) program, to cover those most in need. It aims to support high-priority measures for more efficient administration of social benefits and services through strengthening performance management to be supported by the national management information system. This will be done across all local offices under Ministry of Social Policy s subordination. The number of individuals receiving GMI is expected to almost double from 586,000 in 2013 to 1.1 million in 2019.

In addition, the project will directly address the needs of orphans and disabled orphans in four selected regions (oblasts). They will benefit from a full range of social welfare services that the project will help design and implement. About 35,000 disabled children under the age of 18 and 13,000 orphans and children deprived of parental care are expected to benefit from the project.

This new six-year project is part of the World Bank Group s overall assistance to Ukraine announced in March this year, which aims to provide up to US$3.5 billion by the end of 2014.

The World Bank is a major development partner of Ukraine. With this new investment, World Bank s active lending portfolio will amount to US$3.69 billion through 12 operations in the country. Since Ukraine joined the World Bank in 1992, the Bank s commitments to the country have totaled over US$8.5 billion for 44 projects and programs.

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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