PRISTINA (Serbia and Montenegro), March 30 (SeeNews) - The World Bank said on Friday it would grant $19.0 million (15.8 million euro) through June 2007 to back the economic growth of the U.N.-administered Serbian province of Kosovo.
"The World Bank is working in Kosovo to help build the economy, improve the investment climate, promote good governance, and protect the environment," World Bank Director for South East Europe, Orsalia Kalantzopoulos, said in a statement.
The grants are included in a new interim World Bank strategy for the province. The main aims of the strategy are the generation of new sources of economic growth, ensuring associated environmental improvements and the creation of macroeconomic stability through sound fiscal policy and public financial management, the global lender said.
Under the strategy the World Bank plans to spend $8.5 million in Kosovo's mining sector, considered the key to the province's future economic growth and the main attraction for foreign investors.
A further $5.5 million will be spent for environment protection projects, mainly for cleaning up the land in the abundant lignite mine areas. The World Bank will also support Kosovo's fiscal policy by $5.0 million and will help the province improve its public expenditure management, the statement said.
Kosovo remains part of the loose union of Serbia and Montenegro that succeeded rump Yugoslavia in 2003. The province was put under U.N. administration in 1999 following the NATO bombings on Serbia that expelled Serb forces to end what Western powers said was repression of civilians in fighting the ethnic Albanian rebel insurgency.
Since the end of the conflict the World Bank has approved 22 grants totaling $95 million to support Kosovo's energy, mining, education sectors, community development and business environment.