The World Bank is a step closer to overhauling its policies and procedures as part of efforts to transform the U.S.-based lender into a “solutions bank.”
The bank’s executive directors endorsed Nov. 2 a document that consolidates policies and procedures related to investment lending, the World Bank’s oldest and most-used financing vehicle. The new consolidated policy, which takes effect in 2013, introduces changes such as the use in small states and fragile countries of the bank’s rapid response option for natural disasters.
The new policy also drops the three-year limit for additional financing, increases the funding limit for project preparation advances and introduces more flexibility in the timing of annual audits. Further, it revises and updates policy statements on economic analysis of investment lending activities and approval procedures of multiannual and multiphase investment lending projects.
Aside from these changes, the document consolidates 35 existing policies that apply to investment lending. It retains much of the content of the existing polices and procedure statements, but simplifies language and presentation to address gaps, overlaps and inconsistencies.
The new policy does not cover procurement and environmental safeguard policies related to investment lending. Those policies are being reviewed separately.