Anna Bjerde, a Swedish national, became the new World Bank (WB) Vice President for Europe and Central Asia on May 1, the WB announced on its Monday press release.
The bank said Ms. Bjerde, in this position, will lead the World Bank’s strategic, analytical, operational and knowledge work in the region.
“As Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, I will work very closely with governments in client countries to help them achieve strong development outcomes, but our immediate focus is on addressing the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Anna Bjerde in the statement. “In the short-term, we are providing fast-track financing and policy tools to help protect people’s lives and livelihoods.”
The WB said it has committed more than $1.4 billion to help countries in Europe and Central Asia mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. Since April 2, around $490 million has been approved through new emergency response projects. In addition, up to $925 million is being reallocated, used, or made available from existing projects and lending, including additional financing, to help the countries with their COVID-19 response.
Prior to this, Anna Bjerde was Director of Strategy and Operations for the Middle East and North Africa region at the World Bank. She also held a deputy Vice President role in the Europe and Central Asia region in 2014-2015.