WASHINGTON, June 28, 2000 - The World Bank has approved three loans totaling US$97.46 million to Algeria for the Ain Temouchent Emergency Earthquake Recovery Project (approved June 22), the Telecommunication and Postal Sector Reform Project (yesterday) and the Privatization Assistance Project (June 26).
The Ain Temouchent Emergency Earthquake Recovery Project (US$83.46 million) aims to restore normal functioning of communities damaged by the December 22, 1999 earthquake in the Wilaya of Ain Temouchent and to increase national preparedness for future disasters. The project is expected to benefit the earthquake-affected population as well as the whole Algerian population through strengthening the country's disaster management system.
The Telecommunications and Postal Sector Reform Project (US$9 million) will create an enabling environment to improve access to efficient and affordable communication services by opening the telecommunication and postal sectors to competition and private participation. The project will also support the government of Algeria's program to: a) establish a new legal, regulatory and institutional framework; b) privatize the main telecommunications operator through a transparent and competitive bidding process; and c) elaborate a comprehensive postal development strategy, towards ensuring the financial viability of the postal operator. The project is expected to benefit all businesses and residential consumers of telecommunication and postal services in Algeria.
The Privatization Assistance Project (US$5 million) aims to create the basis for accelerated implementation of a credible privatization program under a new institutional set-up.
The loans will be disbursed as fixed-spread loans, with a maturity of 15 years and a 5-year grace period for the Telecommunications and Postal Sector Reform Project, and the Privatization Assistance Project. The Ain Temouchent Emergency Earthquake has maturity of 16.5 years and a 2-year grace period. The loans are accompanied by parallel financing from the Algerian government.
Contact: Hanan Dowidar (202) 473 7199