Washington, 4 June 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The World Bank has approved three loans totaling $550 million for Romania to underwrite what a bank official calls the new government's "bold reform initiative."
The director of the Bank's Southeastern Europe Department, Kenneth Lay, says the loans mark the beginning of a new country assistance program for Romania, a framework of major financial and advisory efforts by the bank to help Bucharest.
One loan, for $50 million, is for a social protection program to increase child allowances, expand food programs for the poor and provide income buffers to replace the bread subsidy.
The second loan for $350 million will help Romania reform its agriculture sector, accelerating privatization and reforming price and trade operations.
The third loan is for $150 million to improve 1,000 kilometers of roads and bridges and modernize the highway system.