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IFC to Advise Lesotho’s Government on Developing New Hospital in Maseru


Ludi Joseph
Tel: + 1 (202) 473 7700

Fax: +1 (202) 974 4384

E-mail:
ljoseph@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., July 13, 2005 —  the International Finance Corporation and the government of Lesotho signed an agreement for IFC to advise the government on design and implementation of a public-private partnership to develop a new public hospital in Lesotho’s capital city, Maseru.  

The new hospital will replace an existing facility, now over 50 years old, and serve as the national referral hospital. IFC’s Acting Executive Vice President, Assaad J. Jabre, and the Honorable Timothy Thahane, Lesotho’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning, signed the agreement at IFC headquarters.


The replacement of the hospital is central to the ongoing reforms and improvements of health sector policy that the government is undertaking with the support of the World Bank’s International Development Association and the donor community, an effort led by Development Cooperation Ireland and the World Health Organization.


The project is a pioneering joint initiative by the World Bank and IFC in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is expected to be funded in part through IDA funds on concessional terms.


“IFC is pleased to advise the government on this important project. It will create a modern health care facility that meets the urgent needs of Lesotho’s citizens,” noted Mr. Jabre. “Governments are increasingly turning to the private sector to deliver projects in such key sectors as power, transport, municipal services, and health and education. Public-private partnerships have become an effective way to leverage private sector experience and capital to expand access to improved infrastructure and public services. This access is an important component of economic growth,” he added.


Mr. Thahane observed, “Despite limited resources, Lesotho has made significant advances in recent years in laying the foundation for sustainable economic development, poverty reduction, a better quality of life for our citizens, and scaling up of the fight against HIV/AIDS. Cornerstones of this effort include peace and stability, good governance, policy reforms to improve competitiveness, and an investment climate that can ensure that the private sector is an engine of growth. The public-private partnership model spearheaded by IFC in Lesotho has been recognized by many governments as fundamental for mobilizing private sector resources, applying management expertise, and using technology to improve infrastructure and deliver public services efficiently and at an affordable cost. The new hospital in Maseru will provide better, more effective health care services for the general population. It will improve the health of our citizens who are building Lesotho’s future.”


The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.  IFC finances private sector investment in transition and developing countries, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides advisory and technical assistance to governments and business.  From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries.  IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.