New World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan outlines his priorities
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) – Marco Mantovanelli started his assignment as World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan on 1 July 2020. He has replaced Hideki Mori, who was in this position since March 2017 and has moved to a new assignment in New Delhi, where he will be working as the Bank’s Operations Manager for India.
Mr. Mantovanelli has over 20 years of development and management experience working for the World Bank in Latin America, Africa and Europe. Most recently, he was the World Bank Country Manager for Kosovo and North Macedonia. He has also served as Country Manager for Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and has held various managerial positions in the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D. C.
“I am delighted to start my new assignment as the Country Manager for Uzbekistan. The World Bank is a committed partner to the Government as it continues its historic transition to a competitive, inclusive, and sustainable market economy. I look forward to working closely with the authorities and our international development partners to continue supporting the reforms through our financing, knowledge, and advisory support.
Over the next year, the World Bank and the Government will work together to prepare a new Country Partnership Framework that will outline the strategic direction of the World Bank’s financial and technical assistance to Uzbekistan between 2022 and 2026,” Mr. Mantovanelli said.
The World Bank’s financial and technical support has grown substantially since 2017, in response to the Government’s ambitious and comprehensive reform agenda. In just over three years, the World Bank’s investments in Uzbekistan have more than doubled from about $1.8 billion to $4.4 billion as of June 2020. This growth is a testament to the Government’s continued efforts to transform Uzbekistan’s economy and society in line with the 2017-2021 Development Strategy.
The World Bank’s country program in Uzbekistan has quickly risen to become its second largest operation in the Europe and Central Asia region, following Turkey. The program currently comprises 23 projects that provide critical support in areas such as economic management, agriculture, health, education, water supply and sanitation, energy, transport, social protection, urban and rural development.
In recent months, the World Bank has moved rapidly to provide additional support to Uzbekistan as it faces unprecedented health, economic, and social challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. In April and May 2020, the country received emergency financing totaling $295 million to strengthen health systems, acquire additional life-saving medical equipment, increase financial support to poor and vulnerable people affected by the economic consequences of the pandemic, and fill the unanticipated budgetary gap that emerged in the immediate aftermath of the crisis.
“A top priority for me in the coming months will be to ensure that the World Bank continues to provide the best possible support to the Government as it continues with its impressive policy response to the significant human and economic costs of the COVID-19 pandemic in Uzbekistan,” Mr. Mantovanelli added.