Bulgaria today signed the Articles of Agreement of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), joining a global coalition of development partners committed to accelerating the fight against extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity in the world’s poorest countries. Bulgaria becomes the 174th member of IDA.
“We welcome Bulgaria to the IDA family. This is an international platform that will enable Bulgaria to share its development experience, knowledge, and resources in the global quest to lift people out of extreme poverty,” said Akihiko Nishio, World Bank Vice President of Development Finance, who oversees IDA. The IDA family consists of a whole range of countries from high-income donors to low-income borrower countries.
Bulgaria is joining IDA at a time when the Association is mobilizing resources for its twentieth replenishment (IDA20) to run from July 2022 to June 2025. The wealthier members of IDA contribute funds to the Association through its replenishments to support the low-income members to meet their development aspirations. IDA’s current areas of focus include climate change, human capital and COVID-19 vaccines, jobs and economic transformation, gender, and fragile and conflict situations.
“Today’s event is a good demonstration of our strong and sound partnership with the World Bank Group. We are glad that now Bulgaria is a member of all its institutions,” said Valery Beltchev, Bulgaria’s caretaker Minister of Finance, who signed the Articles of Agreement on behalf of the country.
Bulgaria has undergone a significant transformation over the past three decades and is now classified as an upper-middle income developing country. Bulgaria is already a member of the other four agencies of the World Bank Group, having joined the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) in 1990.
“The World Bank – Bulgaria partnership spans the past 30 years during which time Bulgaria went through a transformation of its own. We are delighted to see Bulgaria join IDA and strongly believe that the country’s development experience could be beneficial for the rest of our member states,” said Anna Bjerde, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia.
IDA is the World Bank’s main instrument for assisting the world’s poorest countries. IDA was established in 1960 to promote economic development, increase productivity and thus raise standards of living in the less-developed areas of the world. IDA helps by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people’s lives. Currently, 74 countries are eligible to receive IDA funds. Since its establishment, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries to help bring positive change.