World Bank and Australia Sign Landmark Agreement to Help the World's Poorest

Media Release

Washington

23 September 2011

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, and World Bank Group President, Robert B. Zoellick, today signed a landmark Partnership Framework, paving the way for Australia and the World Bank to work more closely to help the world's poorest people.

The new partnership will focus on future cooperation, including helping developing countries manage their environment, water natural resources, and vulnerability to natural disasters. It will also provide greater support for the development of the private sector in developing countries.

The partnership builds on the success of existing joint projects including: the successful public financial management program in East Timor that has transformed government budgeting; a program to improve sanitation services across nearly 3000 villages in Indonesia; and telecom reforms that have seen over two million people in the Pacific gain access to mobile phones.

The new partnership is in keeping with Australia's Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness, which recommended that Australia should build greater strategic partnerships with multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, as they are best placed to deliver on the fundamental aim of helping people overcome poverty.

“Australia has been a valued partner to the Bank and a stalwart supporter of our work in the Pacific,” said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick.

“This landmark agreement will elevate Australia's partnership with the World Bank Group to a new level, providing a model for future donor cooperation. The World Bank Group appreciates Australia's commitment to development assistance and shares its desire to ensure development dollars deliver real results and value for money.”

“Working with the Bank not only helps us leverage additional financial resources to our region, but also the Bank's impressive development expertise, knowledge, research and analysis,” Minister Rudd said.

Mr. Zoellick visited Australia in August to thank officials and the public, as well as for planning and consultation on the new agreement.

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