Foreign Ministry press release
Foreign Minister Valgerður Sverrisdóttir met Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank, today. Their meeting concerned some of the chief emphases in the Bank's work, including its increasing concentration on energy issues and the fight against corruption. Bilateral co-operation between Iceland and the World Bank on fisheries and renewable energy sources was also discussed. In addition, they stressed the importance of women's participation in encouraging economic progress in developing countries.
The World Bank Group, is the largest development agency in the world. The Bank's support for low-income countries amounts to USD 10 billion a year, and loans to middle-income countries comes to USD 14 billion. In 2006, the Icelandic Government will contribute ISK 275 million to projects sponsored by the World Bank Group. The major part of this allocation, ISK 205 million, will be used to support the work of the International Development Association (IDA) in the poorest developing countries. In addition, the Icelandic Government supports two partnership programs in the Bank one in fisheries PROFISH, and another in energy named ESMAP.
The Icelandic Government has also expanded its co-operation with the International Finance Corporation, the member of the World Bank Group that promotes investment in the private sector in developing countries. The Iceland/IFC Technical Assistance Trust Fund was launched in early—2006, with the aim of making Icelandic expertise available to the clients of IFC. The Icelandic Government has also funded the Bank Group’s Doing Business analysis in 20 small states.