In 1991, the World Bank Group opened its resident office in Bucharest and this November the international financial institution will celebrate 25 years of continued presence on the domestic market, after Romania joined WB in 1972.
“What an honor for me to be leading the World Bank office in Bucharest 25 years later, after another woman, Arna Hartmann, opened it in a Villa on Dacia Street. (…) A quarter century is the measure of a generation and it is as an important milestone for an institution, as it is for a human being. Our presence in Romania has matured together with the country’s first generation of people born in a free economy and society. The challenges they faced, where the face of our support for change,” Elisabetta Capannelli, World Bank Country Manager for Romania and Hungary stated in a comment on WB’s blog.
Over the past 25 years, WB has employed a mix of investments, analysis, and technical assistance to shape improvements in education and health, agriculture and justice, transport and social assistance, programs for the poor and for the inclusion of the Roma, environment and private sector development, to name only a few.
“To date we have provided over USD 12.5 billion for more than 95 projects, with our colleagues in the International Finance Corporation contributing another USD 2.5 billion to support long-term finance in another 80 projects. Our technical assistance, studies and analysis are too many to count. We have transferred knowledge and we have learned a lot from Romania and spread such knowledge elsewhere. We are here for Romania today as it aspires to become a European leader in research and innovation and a magnet for foreign investments, and we will be here for Romania to address the ongoing challenges of poverty and social exclusion that continue to touch over 40 percent of Romanian citizens,” Capannelli noted.
In the twenty-five years of partnership in supporting growth, modernization, fighting poverty and promoting greater prosperity, the World Bank in Romania has shown that it does make a difference.