Central Asia

Date of publication
juillet 2014
Geographical focus

The purpose ofthis report is to provide guidance to the staff of the World Bank's
Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region with respect to mobilizing cultural assets to
support socioeconomic development in our country and regional work programs. To this
end it seeks to demonstrate how and when it makes sense for us to get involved in
activities related to cultural asset mobilization. Equally important, it also indicates how
and when we should leave cultural heritage activities to others. In particular, this report
addresses the following questions:
• What do we mean by integrating culture and cultural assets into our work?
• Why may cultural assets be of importance for a development institution like the
World Bank?
• What is particular about the cultural assets of the ECA Region?
• What lessons can be drawn from ECA's experience with interventions focused
on cultural assets to date?
• How should ECA staff address issues of cultural assets in the future?

Date of publication
août 2013
Geographical focus

The paper's main objectives are to
provide a common thematic basis for urban transport inputs
into the making of country-specific assistance strategies,
and thereafter to guide urban transport project and sector
work included in the business plans agreed under these
strategies. It is a companion volume to the forthcoming ECA
Transport Strategy Paper, which covers all modes of
transport. It also represents a bridge between the
project-related and policy studies done for specific
cities/countries in ECA, and the Bank-wide urban transport
policy, whose latest expression is the document Cities on
the Move: The World Bank Urban Transport Strategy Review,
published in August 2002. Also, urban transport activities
being highly interdependent with other aspects of urban life
and economy, this paper is related to parallel Bank writings
on urban development, water, and environment in the ECA region.

Date of publication
juillet 2013
Geographical focus

This report reviews the status of the 28
countries of Europe and Central Asia (ECA) with respect to
the environmental Millennium Development Goal (MDG). The aim
of this goal is to 'ensure environmental
sustainability,' which is elaborated by a set of three
targets and eight indicators. The indicators for the
environment MDG are important not only as measures of
environmental sustainability, but also as contributors to
the health and poverty goals. In ECA, these linkages are
clearly brought out for the water supply and sanitation
indicators, but also apply to the carbon reduction, forestry
and biodiversity indicators. The three targets and its
indicator are: (i) halve, by 2015, the proportion of people
without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic
sanitation: (a) proportion of population with sustainable
access to an improved water source; and (b) proportion of
population with access to basic sanitation; (ii) integrate
the principles of sustainable development into country
policies and programs and reverse the losses of
environmental resources: (a) energy use (kg oil equivalent)
per $1 GDP(Purchasing Power Parity(PPP)); (b) carbon dioxide
emissions (per capita); (c) proportion of land area covered
by forest; (d) ratio of area protected to maintain
biological diversity to surface area; and (e) proportion of
population using solid fuels; (iii) by 2020 to have achieved
a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100
million slum dwellers: (a) proportion of households with
access to secure tenure.

Date of publication
juin 2012
Geographical focus

The objective of this study is to raise awareness and understanding of exposure and vulnerability to drought in Central Asian countries and the Caucasus and to introduce a strategic, pro-active framework of mitigation and prevention. The audiences of the report are the governments of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia in the Caucasus and Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic in Central Asia. The report will further be of interest to NGOs and civil society, as well as donors. More specifically, the report should help the ministries of, agriculture, irrigation and water resource management, environment, meteorological services, emergency services, and regional and local government (including municipalities) to improve their preparedness for future droughts. The report explores the ways that effective management and mitigation can soften the impact of drought in Central Asia and the Caucasus and reduce damage and relief and recovery costs. The inquiry begins with an examination of types of drought and exposure to them. Chapter 2 contains an analysis of vulnerabilities to drought, as well as the capacity of the disaster management structure to mitigate and respond to slow-onset natural disasters of this nature. The ensuing chapter covers different types of drought in 2000-01 (meteorological, hydrological, agricultural, and socioeconomic drought) and analyzes the measures taken to manage and mitigate them. The conclusion of the report provides recommendations concerning how international agencies including the World Bank can coordinate and synergistically assist the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus in successfully creating and implementing a drought management and mitigation strategy.

Date of publication
août 2013
Geographical focus

The objective of the study is to analyze
conflict-induced displacement from the point of view of
vulnerability, using a multifaceted definition of
vulnerability. As many as 10 million people have been
displaced by war in the Europe and Central Asia region since
1990. While many people have been able to return home,
approximately half remain displaced, with no available
avenues for sustainable reintegration. Currently, in five
countries of the region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Georgia, and Serbia and Montenegro) displaced
persons (DPs) represent more than 5 percent of the total
population. In two other countries (Russia and Turkey), they
represent high proportions of the population in specific
regions (Ingushetia, southeast Turkey). A detailed analysis
of the causes and characteristics of displacement-induced
vulnerability, Living in Limbo provides pragmatic
operational recommendations for policy-makers and
practitioners in both development and humanitarian agencies.

Date of publication
juin 2012
Geographical focus

In recent years, the countries of Europe
and Central Asia (ECA) have experienced a marked decline in
investments by international private operators/investors in
local infrastructure-much in line with the trend observed in
other emerging markets. This decline has been particularly
significant in the local water and energy sectors. In light
of the increasingly tight fiscal constraints faced by
governments across ECA, there is a strong need to develop
alternative Public-Private Partnership frameworks that could
attract private investors to the local infrastructure
sector. The growing challenge is to identify and implement
adequate financing frameworks and modalities of public
support Public-Private Partnerships that would be sufficient
to attract participation of private investors in local
infrastructure without increasing the risk of moral hazard.
The objective of this paper is to explore possible elements
of an alternative PPP framework that could help governments
in ECA to meet this challenge. The paper identifies key
impediments to the development of Public-Private
Partnerships in local infrastructure in ECA and discusses
the elements of the proposed Public-Private Partnership framework.

Date of publication
juin 2012
Geographical focus

Massive privatizations of housing in Europe and Central Asia transition countries have significantly reduced rental tenure choice, threatening to impede residential mobility. Policymakers are intensifying their search for adequate policy responses aimed at broadening tenure choice for more household categories through effective rental housing alternatives in the social and private sectors. While the social alternative requires substantial and well-balanced subsidies, the private alternative will not grow unless rent, management, and tax reforms are boldly implemented and housing privatization truly completed.

Date of publication
juin 2012
Geographical focus

The objective of this study is to contribute to a better understanding of the extent and nature of poverty in urban areas in transition countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, providing particular attention to the disparities within urban areas between capital cities and secondary cities, and focusing on dimensions of poverty related to provision of network infrastructure and energy services in cities. Household surveys carried out in 1998-2003 in 20 countries provided the data for the study. The study found substantial differences in urban areas between the capital and secondary cities, with households in secondary cities being worse off. In addition, secondary cities often had poverty indicators equivalent to, or worse than, those of rural areas, including in terms of access and quality (reliability) of infrastructure. The study confirmed that many households, especially in secondary cities, are "infrastructure-poor" because of unreliable and deteriorated services and that these households are hidden in studies that do not examine actual quality. Finally, the study found that income and infrastructure inequality are generally higher in urban areas, although inequality in secondary cities often was greater than that in the capitals.

Date of publication
mai 2012
Geographical focus

This paper reviews the status of weather
and climate services in Europe and Central Asia
(ECA).Worldwide, the accuracy and value of weather and
climate services are rising, bringing great economic
benefits. However, many National Meteorological and
Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in Europe and Central Asia are
in decline. As a result, these potential gains are often
missed. Much more could be done to mitigate weather
disasters, support the productivity of smallholding and
commercial agriculture, conserve energy, and promote safe
aviation and transport by road and rail. Although NMHS
capacity deficiencies are serious, they could be
significantly remedied by relatively modest but sustained
investments. Economic assessments indicate substantial
benefit-to-cost ratios for such initiatives. A strategy for
NMHS service improvement requires assessment of national
climate, user needs, NMHS status and provision of services,
and the economic benefits of an upgrade to weather and
climate services. recommendations for agency modernization
should include (a) a prioritized plan for improving data
delivery to national users, (b) identification of the
highest-priority infrastructure investments, and (c) a
reasonable phasing plan for overall modernization.

Date of publication
juin 2012
Geographical focus

This paper assesses the impact of
internal infrastructure and landlockedness on Central Asian
trade using a panel gravity equation estimated on a large
sample of countries (167 countries over 1992-2004). The
panel structure of the dataset makes it possible to control
for country-pair specific effects (as opposed to the usual
importer and exporter effects) that would otherwise be
captured by the coefficients of time-invariant variables
such as distance or landlockness. Our findings highlight the
need to pursue a dual policy agenda. First, transit
corridors are regional public goods and should be managed as
such through international cooperation. International
Financial Institutions can -and do- play a key role in this
regard through assistance, coordination and policy dialogue.
Second, the Central Asian countries should actively seek
diversification of their transit corridors to prevent the
creation or maintenance of monopoly positions in transit and
bottleneck points such as trans-shipment platforms.

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