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
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
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
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.